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Suspended Ebonyi female lawmaker pleads guilty to allegations …says, yes I am a photographer

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By Obinna Uchendu, Abakaliki

Member representing Afikpo North East state constituency in the Ebonyi state
House of Assembly, Hon. Maria Ude Nwachi who was suspended last week
for alleged misconduct and posing as public photographer, has
pleaded guilty to the allegations.

The Female lawmaker who also owns the popular, facebook page, Igboist pleaded guilty before the Assembly 5-man committee set-up by the house to
investigate activities.

The lawmaker according to the House has been posing as a photographer and have been visiting prominent politicians both within the state and outside the state during their ceremonies to take photographs of them.

Nwachi was questioned by other lawmakers for about 30 minutes at the Assembly Complex, Nkaliki road, Abakaliki before she finally pleaded guilty to the accusations.

She accepted that there were two sittings which she avoided for her
image making business for a prominent man in Imo state and that she
also takes photographs for her image making businesses.

She also accepted that she does some promotions for Governor David
Umahi which according to her was to showcase the Governor’s
achievements before the world.

“I actually avoided sittings for my private business and such
behavior no matter the circumstances cannot be right. I can’t
justify that and I don’t see what the House has done as regards my
suspension as a political witch hunt. I see my action as very wrong
and I cannot justify it.

“I actually do some promotions for my Governor, he is my Governor. I
do promotion for him not image laundering . I have a lot of people on
face book and I know how to figure those things and my consideration
for doing that is to enable the people of the country to know that my
Governor is doing well, developing the state.

“Even before I came into politics, I have been doing face book
business and managing the Igboist account which enjoys large
followership, I have been doing lots of empowerment through it.
Usually, I use my resources to do those empowerment but this time
around i introduced a formular which the Igboist members can
contribute to empower the people. it is a new empowerment scheme and
it’s a sort of family empowerment for members of the Igboist”, she
said.

Chairman of the Committee and member representing Ikwo south
constituency, Hon. Chike Ogiji told Nwachi that the House was worried
about her activities which he said portrays her and the Assembly in
bad light, hence the suspension and commended the lawmaker for her
sincerity on the allegations against her.

“We are not interested in your private life, we don’t even intend to
delve into your privacy. But what we want is that as long as you
continue to be a member of this House of Assembly, it is collective
responsibility and the public perception about your behavior and
conduct is also important to us and that is why we have done this. We
sincerely appreciate your sincerity because sometimes people are not
sincere. We want to live a legislature that is very decent and be
imitated and seen as being upright anywhere in this country and that
is why we have done what we have done. We want to thank you for making
yourself available and for also being very sincere and religious for
attending to our questions.

“ It is clear that you have accepted the mistakes you made and we want
to tell you that we are not witch hunting you, our business is to
ensure that you move as an Honourable member with the intension to
protecting the collective interest of the House that we have the
intergrity and that is why the House frowned at most of your actions.

Another member of the committee and member representing Ohaukwu South
constituency, Hon. Frank Onwe also commended Nwachi for displaying
sincerity on the allegations against her.

“Dear colleague, I must commend you for making the work of this House
very easy. By accepting responsibilities for all these things leveled
against you. For the purpose of the public and records, people go out
there to give misconceptions of what happened in the House. The House
did not suspend you simply because you are photographing. For us, we
see it as a hobby! When there is programme we go there, snap with
people and get pictures.

“But it becomes a problem when you go to a public place outside your
area and in the process where you are pauperizing or you are pushed
down and they will say it is Maria a legislator and where is the
legislator from? She is from Ebonyi state. so it takes something a way
from the House here that one of us is being pushed around. They will
not know that you are doing it for just hobby purposes and that is why
we are majorly concerned. Some of us here have cameras and if there is
any function or public gathering, we snap. So, what ware saying here
is that the image of Maria is very important to us”, he said.

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