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Chime Embarks On Another Overseas Medical Trip



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Did not transmit letter to Enugu Assembly…Deputy to become Acting Governor after 21 days
The Governor of Enugu State, Governor Sullivan Chime has embarked on  another overseas medical trip without transmitting appropriate letter to the State House of Assembly to enable his Deputy, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi  to function as Acting Governor in his absence.   The  current medical trip which is currently causing tension among officials  and aides of the governor as well as members of the Peoples Democratic  Party, PDP in Enugu State, has been estimated to last for a period of  three to four months, a government house source revealed.
Governor Sullivan Chime had returned to Enugu after 141 days about a year ago,  on February 8, 2012, following a protracted medical treatment abroad.  Although, his aides had insisted that the governor was on his  accumulated vacation, Chime, however, returned to Enugu to announce that he was actually suffering from cancer which kept him away for a period  of four months.   Although the matter of the Governor’s current  health condition has been kept as top secret by the Governor’s “kitchen  cabinet”, impeccable sources disclosed that the Governor, who is  suffering from cancer of the nose, travelled Tuesday morning (February  4, 2014) after his health relapsed again Monday night.   Section  190 Sub-section 1 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides that:  “Whenever the Governor is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable  to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written  declaration to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to that effect, and  until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written  declaration to the contrary, the Deputy Governor shall perform the  functions of the Governor as Acting Governor.”   Sources, however  said that rather than comply with the constitutional provisions, the  ailing Governor has instead left the state in the hands of his Chief of  Staff, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwobodo and other trusted allies, while keeping the  trip a secret to his Deputy and other major stakeholders in the State.   The Governor’s action might not be unconnected with growing political  bickering between him and his Deputy culminating in the invasion of the  Deputy Governor’s poultry farm located within the Government House by  the officials of the Enugu State Capital Development Authority and Enugu State Ministry of Environment, who carted away over 3,000 birds,  allegedly on the orders of Governor Chime’s Chief of Staff.   The  Enugu State Government had explained that the poultry farm located at  the agriculture-designated part of the Government House constituted  nuisance but the Deputy Governor alleged a deliberate political  persecution, maintaining that the Governor himself has a bigger poultry  farm, a piggery, and cattle ranch within the Government House premises.
Mr. Onyebuchi had wondered how a facility he inherited from his  predecessors and had run since 2008 suddenly became a nuisance even  though it was in conformity with best practices and with technical  assistance from ENADEP and Commercial Agriculture Programme of the State Ministry of Agriculture.   However, an Enugu-based constitutional lawyer said there would be no  constitutional crises even if Governor Chime’s treatment lasts up to  three months as being speculated.   Section 190 Subsection 2  states that “In the event that the Governor is unable or fails to  transmit the written declaration mentioned in sub-section (1) of this  section within 21 days, the House of Assembly shall, by a resolution  made by a simple majority of the vote of the House, mandate the Deputy  Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor as  Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker  that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor.”   Therefore, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua scenario might not arise as, even  without the Governor’s letter, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi is expected to  automatically start running the affairs of the State as Acting Governor  from February 24, 2013, about two weeks from now, in the event that  Governor Chime fails to return to office before the expiration of the 21 days stipulated by the constitution.
Chief Press Secretary to  the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, when contacted said that the governor traveled overseas as part of his routine medical checkup but dismissed  as untrue speculations that he would spend up to three months there.
He recalled that the governor had upon his return from a four-month  medical trip in February last year told Nigerians that he would be  traveling periodically to United Kingdom for medical checkup as directed by his doctors.
Chime had traveled to London not less than three times since then and on one  occasion, he revealed that some of the cells that were destroyed in his  body in the course of the chemotherapy treatment he underwent were not  growing appreciably as expected.
The last public appearance of the governor was on Sunday, February 2, when  he hosted the South East Governors and stakeholders’ meeting at the  Governor’s Lodge. He was expected to have traveled to Abuja on Tuesday  for the Council of State meeting but sources said he could not due to a  disturbing development observed in his health condition. Rather he was  said to have traveled out of Enugu Monday night to Abuja from where he  was rushed London to see his doctors in the early hours of Tuesday.

– See more at:  http://theadvocatengr.com/index.php/component/k2/item/2864-governor-chime-embarks-on-another-overseas-medical-trip#sthash.FvFrXcZJ.dpuf

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