Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The chairman of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr. Chike Maduekwe, has allegedly unleashed terror on lawmakers who were on oversight duties at one Chukwunuru Emma’s premises for an on-the-spot assessment of damage done on his property by the physical planning board.
The lawmakers made this known in a report by the Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions as presented by the chairman, Hon. Emeka Aforka, during the committee of the whole of the assembly.
During the consideration of the petition, the committee chairman said that the facts of the matter were very appalling. He said the issue began in 2017 when the petitioner brought the matter to the physical planning board.
The then acting chairman of the board directed the executive secretary to go and investigate the petitioner’s claim.
Aforka said the executive secretary after painstaking investigations, recommended a stop work on the blockage leading to the petitioner’s compound but the recommendation was not implemented by the physical planning board.
He said that in 2019, when the board had a new chairman, rather than Implement the previous recommendations on the issue, the new boss ordered an outright demolition of the petitioner’s fence and gate on the prompting of the petitioner’s neighbour. Aforka maintained that the chairman’s fight with the lawmakers during their oversight duties was the height of rascality and inhuman attitude.
Chukwunonso Noble Igwe of Ogbaru one state constituency, who was part of the committee, said the chairman of the physical planning board really messed up by his conduct before the lawmakers.
Igwe explained that the committee went to the site and saw the extent of damage done to the petitioner’s property. He said the entire senario was very appalling.
The Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ejiofor Ebele Leonard, who was also part of the investigation described the actions and decisions of the physical planning board Chairman as sheer wickedness.
Ejiofor also pointed out that the civil servant who was sent to carry out the demolitions had no written authorization to do so. The lawmaker therefore suggested that the civil servant who effected the destruction of the petitioner’s fence and gate should be sacked with immediate effect.
Thereafter, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor, thanked the committee on public petitions for their efforts in getting to the root of the matter.
He also described the conduct of the physical planning board Chairman as a violation of the oath he took upon confirmation of his appointment.
The House Committee on Public Petitions however recommended as follows:
1. That the Anambra State Physical Planning Board be directed to make amends.
2. That the board should be compelled to rebuild the petitioner’s fence and gate or pay the sum of N1 million only as damages.
3. That the chairman of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr. Chike Maduekwe be reprimanded for his conduct before the committee.