Following the recent suspension of the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Barr Chris Duru and his Deputy, Barr Eleberi, the new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedu Offor, has appointed one Barr. (Mrs) Chinelo Emeghara, as the Acting Clerk of the Imo State House of Assembly. She is said to be a junior lawyer, who lacks experience and the administrative acumen or ingenuity for such job.
The latest development has however elicited some reactions with those opposed to Mrs Emeghara’s appointment, while complaining bitterly that it negates the standing rules and civil service guidelines for engagement. They therefore dismissed the appointment as hasty, ill-motivated and self serving.
A source at the Assembly complex observed that Emeghara is not the most senior in terms of ranking and does not even come second or third in that order of seniority hence cannot be so appointed above his superiors or schedule for duties, who have both the academic qualification and hands on deck experience, having joined the civil service so many years before Barr. (Mrs) Emeghara.
It was also argued that since Dame Barr L.C Okafor, daughter of late Chief R.B.K Okafor is the next in command to the Deputy Clerk, it should go to her.
The same situation happened in 2011, when Rochas Okorocha, willfully and arbitrarily posted Dame Okafor, who was then in Legal Department of IMHA, on the suspicion that she was not going to compromise or pander to criminality and lack of due process, hence he posted her out to ISOPADEC to also get at Rt.Hon Nanna Opiah,an erstwhile speaker of Imo State House of Assembly who was said to have worked cordially with the woman.
Though on secondment at ISOPADEC, Dame L.C Okafor, according to record remains a permanent staff of IMHA. She has since been in the service long before the employment of Barr. (Mrs) Emeghara, and deserves to be given consideration for the succession of Duru, as the Clerk of the House. The decision to relegate her to the background while promoting Mrs. Emeghara, to the office to achieve a selfish interest, was roundly condemned by those who believe the mistakes of the past administration, should not be repeated.
When contacted, the Chairman of the panel set up to probe the activities of the Clerk and his Deputy, who is also the Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Chika Madumere, stated that, he is not aware that there is a more senior staff of the Assembly in the person of Dame L.C Okafor.
He however promised to communicate and consult with his colleagues on the new development, with a view to reviewing the appointment of Barr. (Mrs) Emeghara, who is yet to acquire the requisite experience for the job.
Madumere added that, there is no vendetta in his decision, as earlier reported by the Orluzurumee Youth Assembly, an organization that had after picking holes with the suspension of the former two Orlu top management staff of IMHA, suspected a clandestine move to persuade the leadership of the House to endorse the appointment the lady at the instance of two former Deputy Speakers of the House of Assembly as alleged.
When asked why the probe panel was set up with only Orlu lawmakers and whether it is not a ploy to pit them against the victims of the suspension order, Hon. Chika Madumere explained that their nomination into the probe panel was a mere coincidence.