Currently, Imo State House of Assembly like every other Houses of Assembly in the country including the National Assembly Abuja operates what they refer to as ranking rule.
Chief Emeka Ihedioha, the Executive Governor of Imo State while serving as member of the National Assembly between 2003 and 2015 generously benefitted from the house ranking rule leading to his emergence as the Deputy Speaker of NASS. The rule requires that only returning or re-elected legislators, should occupy or be elected as principal officers.
According to a source, the newly inaugurated PDP led Administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, is working tirelessly to ensure that the House rule is repealed. It was gathered that some PDP party stalwarts are using a non returning member representing Ahiazu Mbaise, Hon Ken Agbim, who has been allegedly assured of commissionership position, should he successfully carry out this and other hatchet jobs for the new administration.
It was gathered that some PDP party stalwarts are using a non returning member representing Ahiazu Mbaise, Hon Ken Agbim, who has been allegedly assured of commissionership position, should he successfully carry out this and other hatchet jobs for the new administration.
Agbim had at plenary recently told his colleagues that the PDP led government won’t pay severance allowance to any member who refuses to sign the resolution to “repeal the ranking rule”.
The severance allowance owed the lawmakers which ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha did not pay include the sum, amounting to a total of
N4.2Million, which is therefore at stake in the event the repeal does not go through, plenary eventually. Political pundits view this as an attempt to subdue the legislature further as rubber stamp.
At the last count,18 out of 27 lawmakers have signed the resolution.
Among those who have already succumbed to pressure and consequently signed, include all the lawmakers from Owerri zone, Hon Uche Agabiga, member for Orsu; Hon. Athur Agwim for Ideato North; Hon Marcel Odunze for Orlu LGA and others, all of whom are from Orlu zone.
According to an insider source, when the rule is repealed, an Owerri man will be elected as Deputy Speaker while leaving Orlu zone out of the contest, in the new dispensation which earlier promised independence of legislative.
Meanwhile, Hon. Chiji Collins who was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has defected to PDP.
His defection was made known through letter addressed to the speaker of Imo State House of Assembly.
Others who defected along with him to PDP include Hon. Mike Iheanaetu (Akwa Akwuru) of AA, Sir Bruno Ukoha, of Ezinihitte, Hon. Onyewuchi of Owerri West and of course Hon. Chinedu Offor who is using his position as speaker protempo to coarse the House to do the biddings.