Gunshots as Imo Assembly Suspends Six Lawmakers

- Amby Uneze in Owerri.

There were sporadic gunshots yesterday at the premises of the Imo State House of Assembly as the lawmakers suspended six lawmakers over what they described as alleged un-parliament­ary conduct.

The Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Paul Emeziem, who made the announceme­nt at plenary said the decision was taken at the executive session.

“Some members have been conducting themselves in an unparliame­ntary manner thereby bringing the house to ridicule.

“We have thoroughly examined this issue at the executive session of the House and have resolved that peace and order must continue to reign.

“The executive session has therefore recommende­d the suspension of the members, who have engaged in different misconduct.

“This action is in line with ensuring that the image of the house remains as it should be his while providing a functional environmen­t and the synergy which we are required to provide to ensure all arms of government work together,” he explained.

The suspended members are: Kennedy Ibeh (APC Obowo); Philip Ejiiogu (PDP Owerri North); Uche Ogbuagu (APC Ikeduru); Dominic Ezerioha (APC Oru West); Anyadike Nwosu (PDP Ezinihitte Mbaise) and Onyemaechi Njoku (APC Ihitte Uboma).

Emeziem also announced Obinna Okwarra (APC Nkwerre) as new Chief Whip to replace Dr. Arthur Egwim (APC Ideato North).

He also announced that all standing committees of the House have been dissolved.

However, the suspended members have kicked against the decision, describing it as illegal and undemocrat­ic.

Violence alsmost erupted when the representa­tive of Ihitte Uboma, Hon. Onyemaechi Njoku, allegedly attempted to engage the Speaker in a fight.

This resulted in sporadic gunshots by security agents while security details whisked the Speaker away.

Njoku (APC Ihitte Uboma), a member of the dissolved Ethics, Privileges and Informatio­n Committee, said their alleged misconduct was never brought to the committee.

Njoku told journalist­s he would continue to attend plenary sessions, describing his suspension as invalid and undemocrat­ic.

On his part, Arthur Egwim (APC Ideato North) alleged that the Speaker did not follow the proper procedure in removing him as Chief Whip.

According to him, there were no valid grounds for his removal as no petition was brought against him and there was no existing case of proven misconduct.

Uche Ogbuagu (APC Ikeduru) argued that no Executive session was held.

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