Following the unwarranted suspension of some members of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Dr. ThankGod Ezeani, a former member of the House of Representatives, who represented Ideato South and North Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, and a leading industrialist, has expressed displeasure on the suspension of Imo Lawmakers, especially the PDP Minority Caucus, by the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Paul Emeziem, for what was termed ”Parliamentary Misconduct and Insubordination”.
The Founder and Facilitator of the Dr ThankGod Ezeani Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship in a statement released by his media office in Owerri, unequivocally condemned the action of the Speaker, describing it as unlawful, undemocratic and a threat to the rule of law and due process, considering the fact that the suspended lawmakers were not offered the benefits of fair hearing.
He stressed the need to constitute a panel to ascertain and investigate the charges levelled against any principal officer of any legislature at the national, state or local government levels, before being suspended for any offense in the course of parliamentary duty.
According to him, this is an unacceptable and appalling attempt to silence and suppress the opposition,which he defined as an integral part of democracy and governance as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution. He further advised the Speaker to desist from unlawful conducts that are targeted at undermining and embarrassing the dignity and honour of an enlightened and hitherto overtly democratic state like Imo.
He charged the Speaker to urgently withdraw the unlawful suspension and reinstate the elected legislators with immediate effect, that they may continue carrying out their official duties and responsibilities to their constituents who elected them and reposed trust and confidence in them, and also keep up their functional checks and balances in the repertoire of the democratic governance of Imo state.
He stressed that the rule of law must prevail over the rule of force, and that justice must always be seen to be done, not just be done.