Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu rejects SUV gift (Lexus) given to him by Ebonyi State Governor, Dr. David Umahi.
Onu made this known through a letter to the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
The minister said he rejected the gift because the laws of the state made him ineligible to receive such gifts.
In a letter reportedly obtained by Premium Times, Onu alleged that Gov Umahi had denied him of his pension entitlements from the state.
Citing relevant sections of the constitution, Mr. Onu called the governor’s attention to certain sections of the constitution.
He also highlighted how the Ebonyi state House of Assembly had abused its powers to technically edge him out of his deserved pension, being a former governor of then Abia State.
Onu Rejects SUV Gift From Ebonyi Governor
Onu in his letter wrote:
“It is important that I draw your attention to provision of Section 124(5) of the 1999 constitution as amended which states that:
“Provisions may be made a law of a House of Assembly for the provision of person to or in respect of a person who has held the office of a governor or deputy governor and was not removed from office as a result of impeachment and any pension granted by virtue of any provision made in pursuance of the subsection shall be a charge upon the consolidated revenue fund of the state.
“Instructively, a law enacted by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly titled: Ebonyi State Special Offices Pensions and Related Matters Law 2007, section 3 defined a Governor as a ‘Civilian Governor of or from Ebonyi State of Nigeria’
“Rather curiously, four years later, the same House of Assembly enacted a law …wherein a governor was defined as ‘a civilian Governor of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.”
Mr. Onu then alleged that it was clear from the foregoing that the said change in the law was targetted at him.
He said it was a clear attempt and an apparent design to deny him of his due pension entitlement.
Ogbonaya Onu further stated that it is the duty of the state government to pay his pension, as a responsibility of the sharing of assets between Ebonyi and Abia states.
Onu Rejects SUV Gift Citing Pension Denail
Mr. Onu further reminded that he was the first elected Governor of Abia state, in which a part later became a constituent part of Ebonyi State.
The minister urged the governor to initiate steps to redress the injustice done to him in the interest of fairness, justice and respect for the constitution of the country.
Mr. Onu in his letter formally rejected the SUV given to him by Gov Umahi saying:
“…in view of the prevailing circumstance, I regret to inform you that I cannot accept the gift of a Lexus Sports Utility vehicle.
“I do so with a deep sense of responsibility and conscious of the important need to build a better Ebonyi State where respect for the rule of law and the peoples’ will as well as the pursuit of their happiness will remain sacred.”
Apart from Mr. Onu, immediate past Governor of Ebonyi, Martin Elechi similarly rejected an SUV gift also given him by the state goivernor.
Governor Umahi had also distributed exotic car gifts to former Governors Sam Egwu, Martin Elechi and erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim.
The SUVs are valued at about N29 million each and a combined total of N116 million.