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Indications emerged on Tuesday that the impeached deputy governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi, would not accept his redeployment to the state civil service by Governor Sullivan Chime.
The Enugu State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress also condemned the development, which would see the former deputy governor demoted from a permanent secretary, his rank before he went into politics, to a deputy director.
But the Enugu State Government, through the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Chukwudi Achife, defended Onyebuchi’s redeployment, describing it as an act of magnanimity on Chime’s part.
Achife said the redeployment was in order, as, according to him, Onyebuchi did not formally resign his appointment in the state civil service before he was elected as the state deputy governor.
He said the former deputy governor’s appointment in the civil service was never terminated.
Chime redeployed Onyebuchi to the state civil service following the former deputy governor’s impeachment by members of the Enugu State House of Assembly over allegations of gross misconduct.
The former deputy governor was an employee of the Enugu State Civil Service before he ventured into politics after reportedly rising to the rank of a permanent secretary.
But it was gathered that he was demoted to the rank of a deputy director in his redeployment, which was confirmed by the Enugu State Government on Monday.
Efforts to get Onyebuchi to comment on the development were unsuccessful as of the time of filing this report but a source, who is close to him, informed our correspondent that the former deputy governor would ignore the redeployment.
The source, an aide, who did not wish to be named, described the redeployment as a joke borne out of mischief, stressing that “Onyebuchi has no business with it.”
The source doubted the validity of the redeployment, as, according to him, the former deputy governor was no longer an employee of the state government.
He claimed that Onyebuchi had resigned his appointment before venturing into politics.
Urging our correspondent to discountenance the redeployment, the source further pointed out that Onyebuchi had already risen above the rank of a deputy director by the time he left service, and as a result, even if he was still an employee of the state government, “there was no way he would accept such a demotion.”
“The entire idea of redeployment is a joke – Onyebuchi had already risen far above the rank of a deputy director which he has been designated in the purported redeployment to the state civil service.
“He is not taking up the redeployment – he will just ignore it – he had already made that clear.
“In fact the question of taking up such a posting does not even arise because the governor has no powers to redeploy him since he already resigned his appointment in the service before he went into politics.
“He is not an employee of the state government, the redeployment is of no consequence to Onyebuchi at all.
“It is simply an act of mischief, somebody is trying to be mischievous here,” the source said.
Meanwhile, the Enugu State Chapter of the APC in a statement by its state Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Kate Offor, accused Chime of impunity.
Noting that the redeployment was a joke, the APC further said, “It is our considered view that Enugu State civil service has no room for theatre of the absurd; where Governor Chime who owns a poultry farm with Chief Onyebuchi in Government House and is equally culpable will now wash his hands off like Pontius Pilate.”