PANDEMONIUM IN OKOROCHA’s STATE: Imo Speaker ‘At Large’ With Mace After 27 Lawmakers Allegedly Connived To Suspend Him

Twenty-one out of the 27 lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly on Wednesday suspended the Speaker, Acho Ihim.

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The suspension of Ihim came after he had adjourned the ongoing plenary and escaped with the maze after reading a letter announcing the lifting of the suspension placed on the 27 Local Government chairmen by the state lawmakers last week.

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The 21 lawmakers immediately announced Chiendu Offor (Onuimo) of the Action Alliance as the interim Speaker.

They also announced the suspension of the Majority Leader of the House, Lugard Osuji; and elected Lloyd Chukwuemeka (Owerri North) in his place.

 

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The Acting Speaker who later addressed journalists, said that the 21 lawmakers had served impeachment notices on Ihim and Osuji.

Ihim, in a bid to frustrate his colleagues from removing him, had allegedly ordered his aides to switch off the generator supplying electricity to the complex, but the visibly enraged lawmakers went on to impeach the two principal officers.

Trouble had started after the lawmakers raised objection to the letter announcing the lifting of the suspension of the 27 LGA chairmen.

The lawmakers had quoted Order 15 of the House Rule, which empowers lawmakers to contribute to issues before the Speaker rules, but Ihim said that no lawmaker was allowed to contribute to the matter.

The lawmakers were seen putting final touches to the impeachment notices as of the time of filing this report.

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In the same vein, A group, The Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, on Wednesday unfolded lawful measures to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue Certificate of Return to Governor Rochas Okorocha.

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The Executive Director of CASER, Frank Tietie, told journalists in Abuja that his group was already mobilising constituents of Imo West Senatorial District to embark on simultaneous protest against INEC in Abuja and Imo State.

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He said the mass action would start immediately until the INEC issued the certificate to Okorocha as the validly elected Senator for Imo West district.

The CASER boss also said the group, as part of its mandate, had perfected necessary strategies to institute a legal action against the electoral umpire if it continued to deny Okorocha, his victory at the polls.

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He alleged that INEC has succumbed to pressures from powerful politicians in the country by witholding the certificate because the electoral body ignored a seven-day ultimatum issued to it to release the certificate.

He said, “INEC does not have any proper grounds whatsoever to question the election of Owelle Rochas Okorocha in the National Assembly election for Imo West Senatorial District held on the 23 February 2019.

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“Our concern as a responsible citizens-based civil society organisation is that we cannot accept the subversion of state institutions like INEC on parochial grounds of political exigencies. That is a direct threat to the constitutional foundation of Nigeria.

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“Thus, the sacred will and mandate of the people of Imo West Senatorial District, being an expression of the Human Rights to Democracy, must be respected and not be subjected to the political whimsicalities of persons who do not respect the sanctity of the independence and impartiality of a state institution like INEC.”

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Tietie expressed confidence that the INEC would reverse itself and save the unnecessary and needless rounds of litigations and allow the law to prevail by respecting the will and mandate of the Imo West electorate and issue the certificate to Okorocha.

 

Source: Punch

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