Impeachment: Proceedings Of Enugu State Investigative Panel [verbatim]

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Enugu-dept-Sunday-Onyebuchi

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Find below the verbatim proceedings immediately after the summary report below. It is recalled that no media personnel were allowed into the Panel deliberations.

Summary of the proceedings of 8th August, 2014

 

The Panel started sitting at about 9:05am on Friday 8th day of August, 2014. The counsel that represented the Enugu State House of Assembly Mr. I. I. Eze, referred the panel to the reportage in the internet and newspapers about the last proceedings of the Panel. He said he was worried because the reports are slanted and not the true reflections of the proceedings. He said that the Punch of 8th August, 2014 has a story that reads thus:

 

“But in an encounter with the journalists after the Panel adjourned proceedings Sunday Onyebuchi faulted the evidence of the witnesses for embellishing the evidence with falsehood.”

 

He further told the Panel that other headings in the newspapers include “Enugu Chicken Impeachment”.

 

He submitted that such report is an embarrassment to the State and urged the panel to ban the press from attending the proceedings of the Panel. Mr. Aghanwa who represented the Deputy Governor expressed surprise at the attitude of the counsel for the Enugu State House of Assembly. Mr. Aghanwa told the panel that the press has already been refused entry at the gate of the court premises by the secretary of the Panel, Mr. Vin Aneke even when the Panel has not made an order to that effect.  He further said that the essence of involving press by the Panel is to show that the Panel is transparent in its proceedings. He urged the Panel to allow the press to be present in the proceeding.

 

Nonetheless the chairman of the Panel after considering the situation ordered that the proceedings be conducted in camera. The Panel stated that it is empowered to conduct its proceedings in private and therefore banned the press from attending the proceedings of the Panel.

 

The proceedings continued with the cross examination of Dr. Anthony Ogbonna, the medical director at the Government House medical centre. Dr. Ogbonna denied having knowledge of a poultry farm in the residence of the Deputy Governor until recently even though he has worked as a physician in the Government House since 1994. He also told the panel that there is an agric unit in the government house and that some time ago an ostrich and a monkey once attacked people and inflicted injury on them at the Government House.

 

The Chairman and Commissioner of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority Mr. Ikechukwu Ugwuegede also testified before the panel. He told the Panel that he removed the birds from the poultry unit at the Deputy Governor’s lodge on 27th January, 2014 but when he was asked where the birds are, he said he does not know. He admitted that the birds at the poultry were laying eggs but still removed the birds.

 

The Chief Protocol to the Governor of Enugu State Barr Emeka Asogwa also testified. Barr Asogwa in the course of his evidence displayed aggressive tendencies towards the counsel representing the Deputy Governor and had to be cautioned by the Chairman of the Panel. He told the Panel that he has been in the protocol department of the Government House for over 20 years. He contradicted himself when he said he became chief of protocol 4 to 5 years ago and when asked when he was appointed chief protocol, he said it was in June 30 or 31, 2008. He said that he is in charge of Governor’s appointments and engagements and publishes the daily manifest of the Governor. He stated that anytime a function crops up and the Governor is not available and does not leave a specific instruction on who will represent him at the function that he (the chief protocol) will contact the Governor and take clearance from the Governor on who is to represent him at the function. He told the Panel that on 4th June 2014, the Governor directed him to ask the Deputy Governor to represent him at the burial of Ezinne Alice Ocho Nnamani at Agbani on 5th June 2014 but the Deputy Governor refused. He further stated that on 11th March 2014, the Deputy Governor refused to represent the Governor at the Flag off and Ground Breaking ceremony of the second Niger Bridge performed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at Onitsha. But upon being informed that there is a video showing the presence of the Deputy Governor of Enugu State sitting together with the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Nkem Okeke at the said occasion, Mr. Asogwa somersaulted and  admitted that the Deputy Governor of Enugu State was present at the occasion. Surprisingly the Chief Protocol was not at the occasion but relied on the knowledge he got from a third party.

 

The Chief Protocol also told the Panel that the Deputy Governor refused to represent the Governor at the South East Governors’ Forum on the 6th of July, 2014. According to the Chief Protocol, he delivered the manifest informing the Deputy Governor about the South East Governors Forum scheduled to hold on 6th July 2014 on the night of Saturday around 10:30- 11pm on 5th July to the security man of the Deputy Governor to attend a function that was to hold the next day. Mr. Asogwa admitted that he was not sure if the Deputy Governor was in town neither did he call the Deputy Governor to inform him about the urgency of the function whose manifest was delivered at about 10:30 to 11pm.

 

The Panel adjourned its proceeding to 11th August, 2014 for continuation.

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IN DETAIL: PROCEEDINGS OF 8TH AUGUST 2014

 

I.I Eze (counsel to Enugu State House of Assembly) says he is constrained to inform the Panel about the reportage in the internet about the proceedings of this Panel. Says they are worried because the reports are slanted and not the true reflections of the proceedings. He says in the Punch of today it has a story that reads thus:

 

“But in an encounter with the journalists after the Panel adjourned proceedings Sunday Onyebuchi faulted the evidence of the witnesses for embellishing the evidence with falsehood.”

 

He says there are other instances but that the press should report what happened. He says other headings include “Enugu chicken impeachment” and says that is an embarrassment to the State.

Eze applies that for this reason the distinguished Panel reverses its order and replace with the first order banning the press on the ground that the press have abused the privilege by their prejudicial reportage.

 

Aghanwa (counsel to Deputy Governor) replies and expresses surprise for the report and the prayer of counsel. He says it has been the practice of the bar that when a serious issue like this occurs, that counsel will put heads together and take each other in confidence. He says without his learned friend having done so the report is a part of blackmail of the highest order. Says first and foremost is that the internet report and whatever report has not been placed before the panel to support their allegation. Says what counsel complains about took place outside court room and not before your Honours.

Says the complaint is not about a report of this Panel but the one made outside the court room. Says there is no nexus between the proceedings of this Honourable Panel and the alleged contempt of the panel.

 

Finally Aghanwa urges the Panel not to reverse itself for allowing the public into the proceedings because there is no reason that anybody transgressed the ethos of the Panel. He says the presence of the public in the Panel is to show that it is transparent in the impeachment proceedings and that it is not covering anything. He further submits that it is within the purview of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended particularly s. 36 (3).

 

Eze replies on point of law and says S.36 (3) of the Constitution referred to by counsel does not apply as it relates to tribunal or court and says that this is an investigative panel.

 

Eze reads the internet publication.

Aghanwa objects as there is nothing placed before the Panel to justify the argument. Says it is unfortunate that the press have been turned back even before the order of reversal of the Panel is made.

 

Eze continues to read the internet extract and seeks to tender same as an Id.

At this juncture the Panel intervened and rules thus:

 

PANEL: The issue of press has become an issue to this Panel. Section 188(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic empowers the House of Assembly to make Rules governing this proceedings and the rule has been made which allows the panel to exclude the public including the press. S.36(3) of the Constitution does not apply to this Panel. The public is hereby excluded from participating in this proceedings.

 

CROSS EXAMINATION OF WITNESS NO. 3. DR. ANTHONY OGBONNA

 

(Witness is reminded he is still on oath).

 

My name is Dr. Anthony Ogbonna. I live at No. 2 Ezikwo Street, Independence Layout, Enugu. I am the personal physician to the Governor of Enugu State and the medical director of the Government House medical centre. I testified before this panel yesterday.

 

CROSS EXAMINATION QUESTIONS BY CHIEF AGHANWA

 

Q:      Since when were you attached to the clinic?

A:      Since 1994 as medical director.

 

Q:      The Government House and all its components were there when you went in as a staffer in 1994?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      I presume you were also there when the successive Governments lived in the Government House?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      The Deputy Governor’s premises were there before 1994?’

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Would you tell the Honourable Panel the makeup of the premises comprising the Deputy Governor’s residence since 1994 the time you came in?

A:      In the compound is the major building which is a two way building and one storey building like any other M building and one story building regarded as a boys quarters.

 

Q:      Are these the only structures in the Deputy Governor’s residence.

A:      Recently I noticed that there is a 3rd structure, which is poultry. I did not know about that until recently.

 

Q:      Would you tell the Panel the number of times you entered that premises since 1994 as you are monitoring everything within the premises of the Government House?

A:      I cannot tell the number of times I have been there. As a doctor that sees to the health needs of His Excellency and his family it is not right for me to start going round and asking questions. This particular compound is quite large; you cannot see such things unless you are closer.

 

Q:      You are not on a firm ground to say the number of structures existing within the premises of the Deputy Governor’s residence since 1994?

A:      I have always known of two.

 

Q:      Occasionally you go visiting the Deputy Governor and family for purpose of attending to their health needs.

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Was there a time before December 2013 when you were there?

A:      I am not exactly sure but I think it was either a Friday or a Saturday because he was wearing a sport outfit.

 

Q:      You told the court that you visited the premises in company of two security men?

A:      No. I did not say so.

 

Q:      Since December 2013 did you ever go to the residence of the Deputy Governor over matters relating to the poultry?

A:      I was there once with the Permanent Secretary of the Government House.

 

Q:      Which day did you go with Barr Ajah to interact with the wife of the Deputy Governor?

A:      I can’t remember the date but it was sometime early in December.

 

Q:      You are not a veterinary doctor.

  1. I am not.

 

Q:      The Enugu State Government had and still has a veterinary doctor attached to Government House.

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Do you know the duty of the veterinary doctor attached to Government House?

A:      Yes. They take care of animals in the Government House; the Ostriches, antelopes, a monkey, and also two horses. There are also some animals for slaughter like cows, goats.

 

Q:      The veterinary doctor sees to the need of these animals?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      They also make sure that the areas they are kept are in good condition for their well-being.

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      You are a physician in general practice?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Yesterday you told the Panel that the alleged odour emanated from the Deputy Governor’s lodge could cause vomiting, retching, abdominal pains and that it will precipitate asthma?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      How many times did the Deputy Governor complain to you of vomiting, retching, abdominal pains or any of all those ailments since December 2013?

A:      I believe as a physician I would not discuss the confidentiality of my patient not to talk about His Excellency, the Deputy Governor.

 

Q:      This evidence you are giving is against the interest of his Excellency the Deputy Governor.

A:      It is not true.

 

Q:      You would not also disclose whether you have treated the wife of His Excellency of any of those ailments you stated here?

A:      I will give the same answer.

 

Q:      You will also not disclose whether you have treated any of his workers or aides of any of the allegations you stated here?

A:      I will not do so it is unprofessional.

 

Q:      Do you know whether apart from the nuclear family of the Deputy Governor whether he has other people in the premise?

A:      Yes. There are people.

 

Q:      Can you estimate their number

A:      I can’t estimate. The drivers are there, domestic staff is there. There are a number of people living there.

 

Q:      Has there been any cause for you as a medical doctor to direct that anybody coming from the deputy Governor’s premises should be quarantined somewhere?

A:      No.

 

Q:      At the time you and Barr. G.O.C Ajah went to the residence of the Deputy Governor did you view the poultry?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      What animal or bird did you find there?

A:      Mainly chicken and a few Turkeys.

 

Q:      You mentioned that within that complex there are other animals in the premises; horses, antelopes, and a monkey?

A:      The Deputy Governor’s residence is not part of the Government House premises.

 

Q:      Is there any poultry existing there in Government house?

A:      No. There is no poultry.

 

PUT:  At the time the deputy Governor’s House was constructed there was a poultry house constructed and attached to it.

A:      I would not know.

 

Q:      You heard about the regime of Dr. Michael Okpara do you know that the issue of agriculture was paramount in his regime?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Did you also hear about the fact that the regime also encouraged Agriculture including poultry?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Do you know that one of the policies of the Government was that there will be eggs on every table?

A:      I don’t know.

 

Q:      These Ostriches do you remember as a medical director attending to a police officer who was attacked by the Ostrich?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      What time is that?

A:      Until I see my records.

 

Q:      That Ostrich inflicted very serious head injury to the policeman which you treated?

A:      It was not a head injury. There was a laceration that we stitched.

 

Q:      Do you know from where the Ostrich that attacked the police officer emerged?

A:      From the compound of the Governor.

 

Q:      You have other paramedicals working with you at the government house?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Your attention was brought when one of the staffers was bitten by a monkey; one Ebuka Abu?

A:      I am not aware of his name but I am aware that somebody was attacked by a monkey.

 

Q:      From where did the Monkey come?

A:      From the Governor’s compound.

 

Q:      Two security men repeatedly came to you complain about the stench, do you know their rank?

A:      I cannot talk about their ranks because they were often in suits.

 

Q:      These people that came to you in suits were the people that mount sentry at the 1st gate?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      You are telling the Panel that these people have direct access to your consulting room to demand for face masks?

A:      Yes. They do have direct access to see me. This is because we gave instructions that when anybody comes to make such demands that a doctor should know. When they came to demand the face masks from the nurses they had to be directed to me.

 

Q:      You did not issue any face masks to anybody?

A:      I did because I directed that they be issued.

 

Q:      Nobody was given any face masks?

A:      They were given.

 

Q:      What date was that that you issued out the face masks?

A:      I can’t remember the date but it was sometime in early December.

 

Q:      Within the Government House there is an area designated as Agric Section or unit?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      The same thing applies to the Deputy Governor’s House?

A:      I don’t know about that.

 

Q:      There are Agric Officers attached to the Government House?

A:      Yes. They work with the veterinary Doctor.

 

Q:      There duties went beyond the immediate Government House and includes the Deputy Governor’s Residence.

A:      I don’t know whether it is beyond the premises of the Government House.

 

Q:      They work also in the Deputy Governor’s premises?

A:      I would not know.

 

Q:      You would not also know that there is a piggery in the Government house?

A:      I don’t know.

 

Q:      There is a very large piggery in the Government House?

A:      There is no piggery.

 

Q:      Did you inspect the Deputy Governor’s premises?

A:      I did when we inspected the premises.

 

Q:      In your opinion as a medical doctor do you think it is right to keep monkeys as pets?

A:      Yes. It is a domesticated monkey.

 

Q:      Your colleagues have reeled out some of the causes of Ebola. Is monkey one of the causes of the dreaded diseases?

A:      Yes the wild ones. After the incident of biting by a monkey the monkey was removed.

 

Q:      After the biting of the monkey, did you report it to the House of Assembly?

A:      No I did not.

 

Q:      Do you have any statistics with you of the diseases that you treated arising from the complaints from the alleged offensive odour arising from the Deputy Governor’s Lodge?

A:      We don’t have it.

 

Q:      You have not come to help the Panel find out the truth?

A:      I have come to do so.

 

RE-EXAMINATION

 

Q:      You said you accompanied the security men when they reported about the the stench. Where exactly did you follow them to?

A:      It was at the gate where they were perceiving the ordour.

That is all for the witness.

 

 

WITNESS NO. 4- IKECHUKWU UGWUEGEDE

 

(Witness swears on the Bible and states in English Language).

My name is Ikechukwu Ugwuegede. I live at No. 7 Ogbolu Street, G.R.A, Enugu. I work for Enugu State Government as the Chairman and Commissioner of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority. My work has something to do with developmental control in Enugu. As Chairman and Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory my duties include developmental control within the three local government areas within the Enugu Capital territory. I am aware of the resolution of the Enugu State House of Assembly that prohibited the rearing of animals within residential premises in Enugu State. I received it. Exhibit H4 is the communication I received in respect of the resolution. I know that Enugu State Government adopted the resolution as a Government policy because I subsequently received a circular from the Secretary to the State Government on the same matter to the same effect.

If I see a copy of the circular from the Secretary to the State government, I will be able to identify it.

Eze seeks to tender the Circular as Exhibit.

Aghanwa does not object.

 

PANEL:The Circular is admitted and marked as Exhibit H5.

 

Witness reads out the contents of Exh. H5.

As the officer of the Government directly involved in the implementation of developmental control I took steps in implementing the resolution. I used radio, flyers and others to sensitize the public. I also implemented it in the Deputy Governor’s premises. In December 2013, it was brought to my attention that there was a commercial poultry in the residence of the Deputy Governor. I received a letter from the Permanent Secretary, office of the Governor which was addressed to the Excellency the Deputy Governor and endorsed to me essentially drawing my attention to the existence of this poultry. I received two letters from the same sources. If I see copies of these two letters I will be able to identify them.

Eze seeks to tender the two letters as Exhibits.

Aghanwa does not object.

PANEL:  Documents are admitted as Exhibits H6A and H6B.

I took step as enjoined in Exh. H6A and Exh. H6B. because of the high profile nature of the Deputy Governor’s residence. I approached him personally, sought and obtained access to see the poultry for myself. Thereafter, I pleaded with him to actually take action himself and remove the poultry. Our practice in development control is that where there is a structure or offending part of structure is required to be removed, if the owner or the constructor of that property agrees and starts to remove the offending structure we usually afford him time and so I advised, pleaded with and asked the Deputy Governor to agree to what is in the letter since I also observed that the contents and the intendment of the letter were correct regarding whether or not the poultry should exist in the official residence of the Deputy Governor. After he declined and informed me that he would not remove the poultry. And about the 26/01/14 I informed him that I intended to remove the poultry myself and sought his permission to enter his premises. On 27/01/14 he called me and granted me the permission to remove the poultry and I went to his official residence to carry out the removal of the birds. When I got the residence of the Deputy Governor I met him and some gentlemen I believe were staff of his and others I believe to be pressmen. When we started the physical evacuation of the birds, the pressmen approached me and wanted to interview me on the merits and demerits of exercise and the processes that led to the removal of the birds but I declined to respond to any of their questions. It is pertinent to note that the pressmen who came to interview me had already prepared documents which I sighted and which I believe was part of the responses of His Excellency the Deputy Governor regarding the correspondence to remove the poultry. I believe so because by the 28 of January 2014 and subsequently, publications appeared in the print and electronic media highlighting the removal of the birds in the premises of the residence of the Deputy Governor making references to the documents I perceived I saw. The actual development control exercise itself was uneventful as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Several persons drew my attention to several Newspaper Reports about me and the exercise and I also got to know on the internet, Vanguard, Punch, and Thisday Newspapers and I believe on some others. Thisday Newspaper of 28/01/14 on page 53 has as one of its captions of that page. “Enugu Capital Territory Destroys Deputy Governor’s Poultry”. Vanguard Newspaper of Wednesday 29/01/14 has on its front page: “Evacuation of my Poultry wicked.- Enugu Deputy Governor”. On page 14 has: “Evacuation of my poultry a wicked act-Enugu Deputy Governor”. Vanguard of 28/01/14 has on page 9: “Enugu Environment Ministry invades Deputy Governor’s lodge and destroys poultry”. There is also a story in Sunday Punch of 2/02/14 on the same matter.

 

Eze seeks to tender these dailies as exhibit in the proceedings.

Aghanwa does not object

 

PANEL: Newspapers admitted and marked as Exh. H7, Exhibit H8A, and Ex. H8B respectively.

I am aware that Independence Layout has a planning scheme. It has a formal Layout plan. Exh. H1 is the Plan for the layout for Independence layout. Certain areas are restricted to certain uses. Independence Layout has a layout plan. Exh.H 2A and Exh. H2B  are extracts from the Layout plan for Independence Layout. There is a bigger Plan. I can see a copy from the archives with no. E/6/ of 13/4/61. I identify this as Layout Plan for Independence layout Enugu as Plan No E/6/ of 13/04/1961. There is a date on it as July 1960 but it is later endorsed 13/4/61.

 

Eze seeks to tender the larger Independence Layout plan.

Aghanwa does not object.

 

PANEL: A framed larger Independence Layout plan dated July 1960 is admitted and marked Exhibit H8.

 

Exh H2A is marked M13 in the larger plan and the extract. The location marked M13  is Ministers House.  I believe M13 is the official residence of the Deputy Governor. M13 is one of the 21 such Ms lying beside the Government house but distinct from the Government House which is Plot S1. Not every house in Independence Layout is residential house. Nonetheless, specific plots within this layout are designated for non residential purposes. For example, the property now known as Okpara Square is a distinct property within the Independence Layout, it is not a residential Plot. Plot S1 is not a residential Plot. The Plot housing the Presidential Hotel is not a residential plot. M13 is a residential Plot. These restrictions which apply to residential Plots do not apply to non residential plots and so you can have commercial activities in plots designated as hotels and offices in the government house.

I have carried out other Development control duties in some other places. We have carried out very many developmental control activities which involves removal of walls, entire building, and poultry. We have removed poultries in Trans Ekulu, Thinkers Corner, and GRA. We have removed old building in Uwani; Mountain of Fire. We have removed the fence of the Cathedral of Good Shepherd. I also removed a shop belonging to a fellow executive council member. Development control is a routine and constant activity of the authority I work for. We have been assisted in the past to carry out this duty by the Deputy Governor.

CROSS EXAMINATION

Q: How long have you been in this position as as the chairman and commissioner of ECTDA?

A: Since July 2011.

 

(Witness is shown Exh. H6B of 24/12/2013)

 

Q: When did you receive it?

A: On 27/12/13.

 

Q: You received it as an original document addressed to you?

A: Yes.

 

Q: On that document there is another endorsement on it what is the date of its certification?

A: 06/08/14.

 

Q: Who certified it?

A: Chief GOC Ajah.

 

Q: Is this the original endorsement?

A: This is the Paper I received but the contents are the same.

 

Q: In the endorsement there is a mark indicating to whom it is endorsed?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Do you have the gazette of the Independence Layout Plan?

A: As commissioner. No.

 

Q: You have told the Panel that the State House is described as S1 does it have a C of O?

A: No. I would not know.

 

Q: In the Independence Layout, have you seen the plan of the Hotel Presidential?

A: I have not seen it.

 

Q: You cannot therefore authoritatively say what is the purpose clause for the Presidential Hotel.

A: I can say because I communicate with my colleague at the Ministry of Lands.

 

Q: There are other Plots that are not residential plots; the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, etc, you will agree that each one of them has its purpose clause?

A: Yes. Each has its own purpose clause.

 

Q: There is Toscana Hotel, Zodiac Hotels and several others that are sited on residential plots?

A: I would not know.

 

Q: It is only when you have received the instrument issued with respect to a particular plot of   land that you will now know the purpose for the allocation?

A: No. It is not true.

 

Q: Tell the Panel how you will know the purpose clause for a plot?

A: There are other documents. The layout plan which also shows the type of development that is permitted.

 

Q: What is the use of M13 shown in Exhibit H8?

A: M13 is the Ministers House. That is the land use.

 

Q: When you allocate land to Mr. A you issue a deed of lease previously, now a C of O?

A: I believe so.

 

Q: It is in that instrument of grant that the terms and conditions for the use of the land are stated?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Have you seen the Deed of Lease or C of O of M13?

A: No.

 

Q: Does it exist?

A: I have not seen it. I don’t know.

 

Q: On 27/12/13 you received this Exh. H6B can you read it?

A: Witness reads Exh. H6B.

 

Q: The two letters agree that there is a C of O?

A: It appears so.

 

Q: You received this documents on 27/12/13/

A: Yes I did.

 

Q: Did you ask the writer or the Commissioner for Lands to furnish you with the C of O that was referred to in the letters?

A: I did not bother.

 

Q: Look at the letter of 27/12/13 Exh. H6A to which an ultimatum is given to a serving Deputy Governor?

A: This letter simply drew my attention to the existence of poultry in the premises.

 

Q: Have you taken a census of existing poultry farms located within Enugu Metropolis?

A: No.

 

Q: In 1960 when Plot S1 was constructed by the Government of Dr. M.I. Okpara a poultry annex was attached to that Government House?

A: I don’t know.

 

Q: Do you know that there is an Agric unit attached to S1?

A: Yes.

 

Q: The Agric Unit comprises a mini farm, a veterinary section which includes piggery, poultry, a ranch and in fact pen for other animals and even a monkey?

A: I know there is an Agric Unit I don’t know the details.

 

Q: These facilities are there?

A: They may well be.

 

Q: Were you aged enough during the regime of Okpara?

A: No.

 

Q: You would not know that the administration of Dr. Okpara encouraged agriculture?

A: I read it in later times.

 

Q: You are also aware that these Ministerial Quarters were constructed during the time of Dr, Okpara?

A: I think so.

 

Q: Have you gone on inspection of facilities on each of these Ministerial Quarters, M1 to M21?

A: No. I have not.

 

Q: You would not therefore know that each of them has attached polutry facilities?

A: I do know that at least one of them does not have the said poultry attachment by Mr. Okpara. I lived in one of them as Special Adviser to the Governor between 1999 and 2003.

 

Q: Before the 27/01/14 have you been to the Deputy Governor’s Residence?

A: Yes.

 

Q: It was the morning of that 27/01/14 that you informed the Deputy Governor of your intention to remove the poultry.

A: Yes.

 

Q: At the time you told him that you want to come and remove the poultry he did not object?

A: Yes.

 

Q: When you came there there was no obstruction by him as everything went smoothly?

A: Yes.

 

Q: You have been in friendly relationship with the Deputy Governor?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Did you try to intercede between him and His Excellency in order to prevent this from continuing in this way?

A: I went to him and spent more than one hour in his private residence asking him to go to his principal and asks for time because he told me that the birds were layers and that any movement of the birds at that stage was going to be catastrophic for the life or production of the birds. I suggested to him to ask Commissioner for Environment or Agriculture to assist him with the removal and that I was optimistic that if he asks his principal His Excellency the Governor for more time for these Government officials to assist in the removal that it will be granted.

 

Q: In your interaction with the Deputy Governor did he inform you that he had written the Government of the State as at January 2014?

A: Yes.

 

Q: You would not know whether this letter had received any response before the 27/01/14 you went to see him?

A: I would not know.

 

Q: In 2008, you were still with the Government?

A: No. I came back in 2011.

 

Q: When you came back in 2011 did you find that there is an Agric section in Deputy Governor’s residence?

A:      No.

Q:      Because you did not go there?

A:      No. it is not because I did not go there; I have gone there before.

 

Q:      Did you go there in December 2013?

A:      Yes.

 

Q:      Which day in January 2014 did you go there?

A:      I can’t remember the exact date.

 

Q:      Were you picking facemasks at every time you go to see your friend?

A:      No. I never used facemasks.

 

Q:      Until you received this directive to remove the poultry you never knew there was poultry in the Premises?

A:      No I never knew of its existence.

 

Q:      In your interaction with the Deputy Governor did you become aware that the Agric Unit was established with the assistance of the State Ministry of Agriculture and ENADEB

A:    There is no agric unit there and he told me that the staff of ENADEB helped him to establish his poultry.

 

Q:      You told the panel that when you got there that some of these birds were layers already laying eggs. Did you not find that explanation plausible as such to advise your instructors?

A:      The author of the letter is not my instructor. Whether the birds were laying eggs or not in my opinion was not sufficient reason why they should not be removed if otherwise they ought to be removed.

 

Q:      At the time did you observe that the poultry is customised that is a purpose built structure?

A:      On the contrary no, the building housing the birds is an open hall.

 

Q:      We are talking about the building housing the poultry, is it a make shift?

A:      It is a make shift.

 

Q:      Where are the birds?

A:      I don’t know where they are.

 

Q: What happened to the structure housing the poultry on 27th January 2014?

A: Nothing. The structure itself is not offending.

 

(Witness is shown Exhibit H5)

Q: This is not a government notice?

A: This is a proper notice in my opinion.

 

Q: Exhibit H5 is a circular notice to you people named in that circular?

A: Yes.

 

Put: Government notices are usually published in the gazette for the whole world to know the decision of the government

A: I dont know that it is the only way.

 

Q: Under what law did you enter the Deputy Governor’s premises on 27th January 2014 and did what you did?

A: Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority Law.

 

Q: What section of the Law?

A: I don’t know. I am not a lawyer.

 

Q: You have tendered four newspaper publications, do you know the Deputy Governor as a journalist?

A: No.

 

Q: You don’t also know him as a Newspaper Proprietor?

A: No. I don’t know him.

 

Q: These are comments made by journalists?

A: Yes.

 

Q: What you and your officers did on 27th January 2014 was in broad day light and you are not supposed to control the crowd that would have gathered at the scene?

A: No, I am not.

 

Q: With your experiences in government, resolutions made by House of Assembly do not have the force of law?

A:   Yes.

 

End of cross examination

 

RE- EXAMINATION

 

Q: Did you make any public announcement?

A: I did not make any announcement

Q: Do you know whether it was possible for anybody to get access to M13 without the consent of the deputy governor or any member of his family?

A: It is not possible. I know he told me that unless I informed him I will not be able to gain entrance.

 

End of re- examination.

 

 

WITNESS NO 5 – BARR. EMEKA ASOGWA

 

(Witness sworn on the Bible and states in English Language)

 

My name is Barr Emeka Asogwa. I live at No. 14 Abakaliki Road, GRA, Enugu. I am a public officer. I am the Chief Protocol to the Governor of Enugu State. I am in charge of Governor’s appointments and engagements. I am also in charge of producing and publishing of the Governor’s daily manifest which is his daily activities. I am in charge of scheduling officers that will attend a function in which the Governor is expected. I am also in charge of receiving the Governor’s official guests. I am also in charge of organizing government functions.

 

Q: When the Governor is not personally available to attend a given function, what will he do if a function crops up?

A: If a function crops up and the Governor does not leave a specific instruction, I will contact one of the aides that will be with the Governor at that place he is and take clearance from the Governor on who is to represent him at that particular function. Once he has given his directive I go ahead to notify the person he has so directed to represent him.

Q: How do you convey that to the officer concerned?

A: I do it in two ways- either orally or by issuing out the Governor’s manifest.

Q: In the case of Deputy Governor, if a directive is given to you, how do you normally do it?

A: His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, is a high official of the government; I communicate such information as I do to other officials of government.

Q: How would you describe the general term of the response of the Deputy Governor to your request to him to represent the Governor?

A: Sometimes the Deputy Governor will attend and sometimes he will say he will not attend.

Q: Can you give instances of when the Deputy Governor refused to represent the Governor?

A: I remember that on 4th June 2014, the Governor directed me to ask the Deputy Governor to represent him at the burial of Ezinne Alice Ocho Nnamani at Agbani on 5th June 2014. I communicated same to the Deputy Governor but he said that he will not attend. On that particular event I had to follow other officials of government who were manifested along with the Deputy Governor to make sure that the government is adequately represented. On getting to the function, I requested one of the Commissioners i.e. the Commissioner for Lands to stand in for the Governor. The Governor when he came on Friday 6th June 2014 called me and asked whether the Deputy Governor represented him at the event and I told him no. He then said we should proceed to that venue. So he himself had to come to Agbani on a condolence as the burial had taken place the previous day. I also remember that on the 4th of July 2014, the Governor directed me through one of his aides to inform the Deputy Governor to take a courtesy call on his behalf for Mr. Peter Carter, Deputy British High Commissioner. I informed the Deputy Governor accordingly but he refused. I informed the Governor and the Governor did not tell me anything again. On the 5th of July 2014, the Governor through one of his aides in overseas directed me to ask the Deputy Governor to represent him at the meeting of the South-East Governors’ Forum that was to take place on 6th July 2014. I communicated to the Deputy Governor the Governor’s directive and he said he will not go. The Governor called me back through one of his aides Mr. Victor Atuonwu and I told him that the Deputy Governor said he won’t attend the meeting. On that very day of the meeting, Sunday 6th July 2014, when the meeting was going on, a telephone came in to me to ask me if the Deputy Governor was attending the meeting and I told him no that he did not come. I printed manifest for the burial of Ezinne Alice Ochu Nnamani and the South- East Governors’ Forum.

 

(Witness identifies the manifests).

 

Eze seeks to tender them in evidence.

 

Aghanwa says no objection.

 

PANEL: Governor’s Manifest of Thursday 4th June 2014 and 6th July 2014 are admitted          and marked as Exhibits H9A and H9B.

 

I remember on 11th March 2014, the Governor directed me to ask the Deputy Governor to represent him at the flag off and the ground breaking ceremony of the 2nd Niger Bridge Onitsha in which Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was to perform. I communicated the Deputy Governor about the Governor’s directive that he was to represent him. When the event was going on, incidentally I was watching it on Television because of the harrowing experience I have had at the bridge, I could not see the Deputy Governor or hear his name mentioned. I called the Chief Protocol Anambra to ask him what was happening. Before calling the chief protocol Anambra, I had called the chief protocol to the Deputy Governor and his number was not going, I asked her to look for our Deputy Governor and recognize him as he is representing the Governor. She told me she did not see the Deputy Governor and I insisted that our Deputy Governor was there. At about 5 minutes later, I called her again and she told me she has seen our Deputy Governor and that he came late and that was why he is not sitting with other Governors who are also in attendance. I pleaded on her to assist me so that our Deputy Governor be given his due recognition as a Governor and for Enugu State to be recognized accordingly and she said she cannot help me that it is against the protocol to bring out the Deputy Governor when Mr. President is already seated. At the ground breaking Niger Bridge ceremony, Enugu State was not represented because in the recognition, Enugu State was not recognized.

 

CROSS EXAMINATION OF BARR. EMEKA ASOGWA (WITNESS NO. 5)

 

Q: How long have you been in Protocol Department of the Government House?

A: For over 20 years

 

Q: Of the 20 years, how many was spent in the Government House, Enugu?

A: Over 15 years

 

Q: How long have you been the Director of Protocol?

A: I have been director for 4 to 5 years.

 

Q: When were you appointed or promoted to Chief of Protocol?

A: I was appointed June 30 or 31, 2008

 

Q: Does the Deputy Governor have director of protocol attached to him?

A: He has a protocol officer whom I post to him but in some instances a principal might refuse to work with my own officer and get his own protocol officer and that is the case of the Deputy Governor.

 

Q: What is the name of the protocol officer whom you posted to the Deputy Governor?

A: The Deputy Governor was there before I came as chief of protocol and as I came I met his protocol officer?

 

Q: Did you tell the panel that it is your duty to post protocol officer to the Deputy Governor?

A: I did not.

 

Q: Did you tell the panel before that a protocol officer had been posted to the Deputy Governor and he rejected it and appointed his own?

A: I said that a principal has right to reject a protocol officer posted to him.

 

Q: To your knowledge was a protocol officer assigned to him and he rejected and appointed his own?

A: I don’t know.

 

Q: What is the name of the protocol officer attached to the Deputy Governor?

A: Mr. Innocent Chukwu.

 

Q: Is he a public servant like you?

A: Currently he is a political appointee.

 

Q: Does he take instruction from you regarding protocol matters?

A: In Government House there is a synergy. I am the chief of protocol of Enugu State and as the chief of protocol; all other protocols are under me. So Mr. Innocent Chukwu being a protocol in the state can take instruction from me.

 

Q: Would you be surprised to hear that the Deputy Governor has never appointed Mr. Innocent Chukwu as his protocol officer?

A: I won’t be surprised.

 

Q: Did the Deputy Governor ever tell you that Mr. Chukwu is his protocol officer?

A: I did not discuss the functionality of the office of the Deputy Governor with him. Mr. Chukwu operates as protocol but we have not worked together even though his designation is a special adviser.

 

Q: Did the Deputy Governor tell you that Mr. Chukwu is his protocol?

A: No.

 

Q: Protocol business requires training?

A: Yes

 

Q: From the evidence you gave I get the impression that as regards to the representation of government, you did not talk to the Governor directly?

A: I got the instruction directly from the Governor.

 

Q: On 11th March 2014, the flag off of the 2nd Niger Bridge did you speak to the Governor directly?

A: Yes, Victor gave phone to the governor.

 

Q: On 5th July 2014 as regards South East Governors Forum, did you talk to the Governor directly?

A: Yes

 

Q: On 4th July 2014 as regards British Deputy High Commissioner, did you talk to the Governor direct?

A: Yes through his aide.

 

Q: On 5th June 2014 was the burial of Onyemuche Nnamani’s mother?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Take a look at Exhibit H9A

Q: Deputy Governor was to represent the Governor at the occasion

A: Yes.

 

Q: Do you know when the manifest got to the Deputy Governor?

A: It got to the deputy governor on 4th June 2014.

 

Q: You said the Deputy Governor told you he will not attend?

A: He told me on phone.

 

Q: Did he tell you why he won’t attend?

A: No.

 

Q: I suggest to you that the Deputy Governor told you that he was ill and was reacting to drug?

A: It is not so.

 

Q: Do you know whether thereafter on 5 or 6 June the Deputy Governor went for condolence?

A: I don’t know.

 

Q: I am correct to say that the Deputy Governor and Onyemuche Nnamani are both from Nkanu land?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Is there a manual regulating protocol activities in Enugu Government House?

A: I am not aware of such.

 

Q: Usually there is a manifest showing activities of governor?

A: Yes

 

Q: Was a manifest produced for 4th July, 2014 when the Deputy British High Commissioner came?

A: There was no manifest.

 

Q: Is it that his visit i.e. the courtesy call an emergency?

A: The letter came to me when the Governor was not around and usually when such letter comes I take clearance from the principal. I had to take directives from the Governor through his aide.

 

Q: Does the Governor’s aide direct you on whom should represent the governor?

A: No.

 

Q: If Mr. Victor Atuonwu directs you that the governor said that you should represent him, will you?

A  No. If at all anybody directs me I must confirm from the Governor.

 

Q: And if you cannot get such confirmation, you will not carry on?

A: Yes.

 

Q: You had sufficient time to prepare a manifest for 4th July 2014?

A: No. I had no sufficient time.

 

Q: When did you get the letter informing you about the British Deputy High Commissioner?

A: The letter came 2 to 3 days before the event.

 

Q: When did you get directive from the Governor?

A: I got it a day to the function. It is a day to the function I called Governor to know who would stand in.

 

Put: Even if you got it a day before, you could have prepared a manifest and sent it to the Deputy Governor.

A: No, you are not correct.

 

 

Q: Was there any peculiar difficulty in preparing the manifest?

A: In some cases I communicate to him orally. There was no special difficulty.

 

Q: When you are instructed that Deputy Governor will represent the Governor, you decide what manner to communicate the directive either by manifest or oral.

A: It is the nature and circumstances of event that determine.

 

Q: If you a protocol officer would not take oral directive from Governor’s aide, do you expect the Deputy Governor to take directive from you orally?

A:…..

 

Q: In other words the Deputy Governor should confirm from Governor any directive you give him as regards representation?

A: No it has never arisen before.

 

Q: In 2008, can you recall any occasion when the Deputy Governor was required to represent the Governor and he refused to do so?

A: I cannot recall.

 

Q: What about 2009, can you recall any instance?

A: The four instances I gave are those that are most current. So many of them abound but I cannot recall.

 

Q: Do you recall instances in 2010?

A: No. I cannot recall now.

 

Q: What about 2013, do you recall any instance?

A: There was a meeting of Council of State in Abuja which the Deputy Governor refused to attend but I cannot remember the date.

 

Q: Can you remember any date aside the four instances you mentioned where the Deputy Governor refused to represent the Governor?

A: I cannot remember.

 

Q: You agree that on 11th March 2014, the Deputy Governor was present at Onitsha?

A: He came late according to my colleague.

 

Q: It would be wrong to say that the Deputy Governor refused to attend the ceremony as alleged by the Enugu State House of Assembly?

A: If you come late, by protocol you did not come.

 

Q: Did you know the Deputy Governor was there and sat with Anambra Deputy Governor?

A: I was watching AIT but did not watch it till the end.

 

Q: When did you deliver the manifest informing the Deputy Governor about the South East Governors Forum on 6th July 2014?

A: I delivered it on Saturday night around 10:30- 11pm and that was when I got confirmation from Governor.

 

Q: When did you learn that this meeting was to hold?

A: A signal came to me on 5th July 2014.

 

Q: What time did the Governor speak to you?

A: I got Governor’s confirmation around 9pm on 5th July 2014.

 

(Witness shown exhibit H9B)

Q: It is the manifest for 6th July 2014?

A: Yes

 

Q: When was it prepared?

A: It was prepared in the morning but I cannot issue until I confirm from the Governor.

 

Q: On your own, immediately you got the signal you took the decision by 9:30am and prepared           the document without talking to the Governor that the names listed therein should attend?

A: The other members are statutory required but the representation was not so with Deputy  Governor.

 

Q: It was after you got confirmation that you signed this document?

A: Yes.

 

Q: Do you recall going to the Deputy Governor’s house on Saturday night 5th July at about 10:30 to 11pm?

A: I cannot recall.

 

Q: Did you deliver the manifest (Exhibit H9B) personally to the Deputy Governor on 5th July 2014?

A: I have never given the Deputy Governor by hand. It goes to him by proxy.

 

Q: Did you speak to the Deputy Governor about the representation of 6th July 2014?

A: I cannot remember.

 

Q: You went to the Deputy Governor’s house at about 10:30pm on July 5th and asked him to represent the Governor at the South East Governors Forum to hold the next day?

A: It is not true.

 

Q: The Deputy Governor asked you for a manifest but you said there was none because it was an oral directive?

A: It is not true

Q: The deputy governor told you that the practice was that the governor would call him and tell him what to say at the meeting?

A: No sir.

 

Q: Exhibit H9B did not exist on 5th July 2014?

A: It is not true.

 

Q: You manufactured this document for the purpose of this proceeding?

A: It is not true.

 

Q: Where did you deposit the manifest?

A: The Deputy Governor’s private residence.

 

Q: Were you the one who gave Exhibit H9B to the Deputy Governor’s security man?

A: The manifest execution is done by PA but in that particular event I went with him because his vehicle broke down.

 

Q: When you got there, did you ask the security man whether the Deputy Governor was at home?

A: No I have never asked.

 

Q: Did you find out if the Deputy Governor was in town on that 5th July 2014?

A: I did not ask but I sighted the orderly and the protocol man on 6th July 2014 in town.

 

Q: Did the Deputy Governor call you and told you that he will not attend?

A: No he did not call me.

 

Q: Do you have Deputy Governor’s phone number?

A: Yes.

 

Q: When you typed Exhibit H9B at about 9:30am on 5th July 2014, did you call the Deputy Governor to inform him that you are waiting for confirmation?

A: I did not.

 

Q: Do you agree that delivery as you claim to the security man at 10:30 to 11pm on 5th July 2014 to attend a function by 2pm the next day was rather short?

A: I don’t.

 

Q: Considering the lateness and considering that you did not know whether the Deputy Governor was in town, did you not think it was reasonable to call the Deputy Governor to inform him?

A: It was not necessary.

 

Q: In 2012, the Deputy Governor acted as Acting Governor?

A: Yes.

 

Q: The Deputy Governor’s case is that you have never given him instruction orally to represent the Governor at a function?

A: I don’t give the Deputy Governor instruction rather I pass what Governor’s directive is.

 

Q: You called the Deputy Governor and came to his house on 5th July 2014 to tell him to go and represent the Governor?

A: I cannot remember if I called him.

 

Q: You have told the panel untruth to serve your master?

A: It is not true.

 

PANEL: Matter adjourned to 11 August, 2014.

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