George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Four members of the Imo State House of Assembly, allegedly loyal to the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, were suspended indefinitely, yesterday.
The affected lawmakers are Chiji Collins, representing Isiala Mbano State Constituency, Ifeanyi Nnataraonye, Mbaitoli (the deputy Governor’s council) Uche Oguwuike, Ikeduru State Constituency ( he is the deputy governor’s in-law) and Ikenna Nzeruo, representing Oru West State Constituency.
Speaker Acho Ihim, who presided over the emergency plenary and announced the indefinite suspension of the members, said they had allegedly engaged in what he described as “unparliamentary conducts” unbecoming of legislators.
Although the speaker did not disclose the alleged unparliarmentary conducts of the suspended members, he went ahead to appoint the Lawman Duruji, who represents Ehime Mbano, as chairman of the committee to investigate the alleged unparliamentary conducts of the members.
Chiji Collins, who was present at plenary, was not allowed to speak when the suspension was announced even after he raised his hands in protest.
The lawmakers were apparently suspended, in a renewed bid to impeach the deputy governor, who has been at loggerheads with Governor Rochas Okorocha; for trying to hoist his Chief of Staff and son-in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu, as his successor.
Thereafter, the speaker denied that the latest incident had anything to do with any purported impeachment of the deputy governor. He insisted it was purely a parliamentary matter.
“Suspension of the members has nothing to do with the imaginary impeachment plot against the deputy governor, as being speculated and, therefore, it should not be given political colouration as it was purely a parliamentary issue,” the speaker said.
He, however, advised the affected members to submit themselves to the committee. The suspended members are members of a coalition and have refused to join in an earlier impeachment plot against the deputy governor.