From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Enugu
The Chairman, Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA), Dr. Josef Onoh today appeared before the State House of Assembly denying any act of disrespect to the State Legislature.
Onoh was invited to the Committee of the General House following his alleged refusal to appear before the House Special Committee investigating alleged extortion and double taxation by the three city Councils and some agencies of the state government which ECTDA is one of them.
While he failed three invitations to appear before the special committee some members of the Assembly including the Chairman of the Committee who spoke and asked questions yesterday alleged that Onoh went on social media to malign the House by saying it rejected his representative because he didn’t come with financial inducement.
At the sitting which witnessed the flaying of tempers, the ECTDA boss was also said to have used the services of a lawyer to write the Committee and accused the House of land grabbing.
But responding to the questions, Onoh denied ever disrespecting the Assembly stressing that doing so would have amounted to disrespecting himself being a former member of the House.
He also denied ever accusing the House of land grabbing since the House has no business with land allocations.
He said, “I didn’t turn your invitations down, the only thing is that the staff we sent came empty-handed because we didn’t give him any document to present to the committee. I never said that the House wanted financial inducement.”
However, the Speaker, Hon Edward Ubosi, who doused the tension described as ‘great’ the enormous job being executed by ECTDA and commended the brave leadership quality of Onoh.
Noting that Onoh’s job demands a lot, Ubosi stated that the House did not in any of it’s invitations to him and other Executive members indicate land grabbing as part of it’s investigation.
He said, “It was only on the allegations of extortion of levies and double taxation, the house is not happy with you because you were a member of this House of Assembly who served well as House Committee chairman on appropriation and the records are there. I remember your father fought for the State House of Assembly and for the state, same as my grandfather.
“We don’t have issues with you. We are happy with your duty as the Chairman of Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority because I know that it’s not easy. Our invitation was just a meeting which was turned into politics and you are a young man with a future, just take a bow and go.”
He said that the Special Committee would make recommendations to the House on how to handle the issue of the double taxation.
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