A showdown is imminent in the Imo State House of Assembly, after the suspension of six members of the House.
The House has been boiling, with aggrieved members alleged to be poached by the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, is in the majority.
The suspended members are: Hon Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru), Hon.Phillip Ejiogu (Owerri North), Hon Onyemeachi Njoku (Ihitte Uboma), Hon.Anyadike Nwosu (Ezinihitte Mbaise), Hon.Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West) and Hon.Kennedy Ibe (Obowo).
Hon Arthur Egwim was removed as Chief Whip of the House. The Speaker also dissolved all Standing Committees.
Of the six suspended members , four are of the All Progressive Congress, APC and two of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The Speaker, Rt Hon.Paul Emeziem, suspended the members during the plenary, citing “unparliamentary conduct”
The suspension had triggered fierce commotion in the House, forcing security operatives to fire gun shots to scare away supporters of the suspended members at the premises of the House of Assembly.
Aftermath Of Suspension
Some of the members have been blowing hot over their suspension.
While Hon Anyadike said he was not in the country when he was suspended, the same goes for Hon.Phillip Ejiogu, who was away in Abuja, when news of his suspension from the House was announced.
Hon Kennedy Ibe, member representing Obowo claimed he has been target of several Speakers of the House for reasons he does not know of.
He is a ranking member and from Okigwe zone, a zone the Speaker of the House is zoned to.
Assembly watchers say he is always on “the target list because he is ambitious to become Speaker”
Though the House proceedings has been suspended indefinitely, INNONEWS was told that there are underground moves to get majority of members, particularly of the All Progressive Congress, APC, to join the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
About 10 members are being poached by the opposition party. Those being reached are those who have shown considerable disapproval to some actions of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker lately.
The move is said to be aimed at ensuring the PDP gets the majority.
The party do have seven members and if ten members join their fray, the PDP could be in the majority which may be a threat to the Speaker as he may face impeachment.
This newspaper was informed that most members, irrespective of political leanings are not happy over several issues in the House.amd the way it has been handled by the Speaker.
A source said ” Most of the members of the House are unhappy, even before six of them were suspended.
“This is the truth of the matter. Even before the suspension of six members of the House, there are issues agitating the minds of members and it is directed against the Speaker and the Executive.
“They have been finding it difficult to meet the governor to sort out several issues plaguing them. They have met the Speaker several times on the need to see the governor, but it has not been possible.
One of the lawmakers who spoke to this newspaper said their suspension was triggered by “their refusal to concede to the request of one of the principal officers of the House, who wanted members to congratulate the governor for granting full Financial autonomy to the House.
His words “How can we openly commend the governor for such when in reality, there is no such financial autonomy?
“This argument was on our WhatsApp platform and because we opposed such argument, we were marked for suspension the next day?
“Where is the autonomy when our salaries come very late. For more than a year, we have not received our Constituency Votes
However, the Speaker of the House, Rt Paul Emeziem said the House under his leadership has remained resolute to effective service delivery and would not condone behaviours and activities from members that is capable of bringing the State legislative arm to disrepute and ridicule.
He told journalists that the decision of the House became necessary in order to protect the image, sanctity and ensure progress of the House.