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BY: GREG IWU
Details of the long drawn drama in the Imo State House of Assembly came to a head on Thursday with the suspension of the Speaker, Hon.Acho Ihim.
The Speaker made away with the mace to escape impeachment. In a terse statement, Acho Ihim says he has not been impeached.
This newspaper gathered that the crux of the matter was the suspension of the 27 Local Government Chairmen by the lawmakers last week.
This led to big division among members though those who backed the move were in the majority.
It was observed that there were plot to restore the Chairmen this week after they had reportedly declined to obey the order of the lawmakers who had directed the Chairmen to vacate their offices and handover the affairs of the Council to their Deputies.
A top level source in the Assembly said the Chairmen had made underground moves towards the lawmakers after their suspension including alleged inducement said to be mouth watering all aimed at lifting the suspension slammed on them. The Executive arm were reported to have also meddled into the matter all no to avail.
The Speaker and some of principal officers of the House including the Majority Leader, Hon.Lugard Osuji who were opposed to the suspension in the first place were said to be marked for impeachment perhaps due to their roles to ensure the return of the Council Chairmen.
One of the lawmakers who spoke on condition of anonymity said the drama and commotion that rocked the House today flowed from the suspension of the Council Chairmen and ” other outstanding issues”
He said “The suspension of the Speaker and others did not follow House rules as those who announced their suspension did do so during plenary. How can you suspend the Speaker and the Majority Leader after plenary when we have adjourned and the Speaker left the House with the mace
” You do not suspend the Speaker and other principal officers through a press conference.
Drama however ensued when power supply suddenly went out in the Chambers.
21 members of the House moved against the Speaker and named Hon.Chinedu Offor as Acting Speaker with Hon Chukwuma Lolyd as Acting Majority Leader in what has turned out to be the biggest drama witnessed in Imo State Assembly barely a month to the coming of board of a new legislature.
According to Hon Chinedu Offor, he read a Notice signed by 21 out of 27 House members who served an impeachment notice on the Speaker, Acho Ihim and announced him as Acting Speaker.
Briefing newsment at the Assembly, complex, Offor stated that Ihim had consistently run the house without recourse to parliamentary process adding that his action at the plenary session of the house on Wednesday was an insult to the other lawmakers.
Offor added that the Speaker had taken a unilateral decision to recall the suspended local government council chairmen contrary to their resolution at the executive session.