Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi on Friday suspended the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Innocent Nwida from office over the latest communal crisis in the state.
The governor also suspended other elected and appointed office holders from Igbeagu Community in the Izzi Local Government Area of the state because of the crisis.
On April 9, Umahi suspended the chairmen of Ikwo and Abakaliki Local Government Councils and all elected and appointed office holders from Enyibichiri in Ikwo and Enyigba in Abakaliki over a communal clash.
Dr Kenneth Ugbala, Commissioner for Border, Peace and Internal Security, announced the suspension of the officials while addressing newsmen after the governor’s meeting with people from Igbeagu Community, involved in a boundary dispute with Ukele community in Cross River.
Ugbala noted that the suspension, which took immediate effect would elapse when peace returned to the communities.
“The affected persons include the Auditor-General of the state, Mr Innocent Nwida, Mr Cletus Nwakpu, Project Coordinator of the FADAMA 3 programme and His Royal Highness, Ogbonnaya Ukwa, among other political office holders.
“The issue of whether the governor has the constitutional right to suspend the elected officers does not arise because they are constitutionally mandated to protect the lives and property of their people.
“However, when an elected officer fails to perform this function, he has violated the constitution and should either resign, be suspended or charged to court.
“The courts would interpret such issues further and we are expecting such situations with this decision taken,” Ugbala said.