George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, has invited five suspended members of the House for a dialogue next week.
There was heavy security presence at the state Assembly following the alleged plot to impeach the out-going speaker by 19 members of the House which included five of the suspended members over how the speaker had allegedly directed the affairs of the Assembly.
Mr Acho Ihim (Okigwe AA) who presided over the plenary, directed that the suspended members of the House be invited for an interface with the members of the House on April 16, 2019, at their executive session.
Ihim who issued the invitation on Thursday following a motion for the recall of the suspended members by the representative of Nkwerre constituency, Engr Chika Madumere (APGA) said their possible recall would be discussed then.
He stated that “far reaching decisions” had been taken concerning the suspended lawmakers and the decisions would be communicated to them.
It would be recalled an Imo High Court on November 5, 2018, quashed the suspension of four of the five suspended members of the State House of Assembly, describing the action as unconstitutional.
The court also jointly awarded the applicants, Dr Uche Oguwuike (Ikeduru APC), Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano APC), Israel Nnataraonye (Mbaitoli) and Nkenna Nzeruo (Oru East APC) the sum of N8million in damages and N100,000 in legal fees.
The presiding judge, Justice Goddy Anunihu, in his ruling on the matter, also directed the Speaker of the House and the Imo House of Assembly who were the first and second respondents to pay the applicants their salaries, allowances and emoluments for the period they were suspended. But the leadership of the House had ignored the judgment.
However, our correspondent reliably gathered that the sudden invitation of the suspended members by the speaker might have to do with the alleged plot to disgrace him out of office through impeachment over the way and manner he had been running the affairs of the Assembly since 2015.
The source also disclosed that members of the House were not happy that most of their allowances had not be paid to them before and after the state Assembly and governorship elections in the state and that they were used and dumped.
“Today, you discover that there are heavy presence of security men in the complex including others stationed at strategic points. This is because of the rumoured plot by some 14 aggrieved members of the House in alliance of the five suspended members to remove the speaker, and I am sure that is why he had invited the five suspended members to a dialogue after the motion moved by Chika Madumere to recall them.
“The members of the House are not happy because their allowances and other entitlements have not be paid to them. Don’t forget that majority of them had to join AA hoping that they would the returned back to the House as they were promised by the state governor. But only six of the current House members won re-election back to the house.”