Lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly, who were recently elected and inaugurated to make laws for the good governance of the State and LGAs, appear to have shot themselves on the feet.
This was evidenced during plenary on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, when the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Chiji Collins, unilaterally confirmed Barr. (Mrs) Emeghara, as the substantive Clerk of the House.
As at the time of her confirmation, Barr. Chris Duru, who was merely asked to step aside was still the substantive Clerk and has not been redeployed or found wanting in the allegation against him for Mrs Emeghara to be so confirmed.
The House had through the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedu Offor led 8thAssembly, suspended Barr. Duru and his deputy,Eleberi, during a heated debate on the 31thof May, 2019, on what was purported to be a case of dereliction of duty. Ever since his suspension along with his Deputy, no other reference has been made to them until Mrs Emeghara, then Acting Clerk of the House was confirmed Clerk of the House in a substantive position.
A male lawmaker from Okigwe zone who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, expressed regret and shock that the Speaker should go ahead, with such an anomaly. They described it as the height of desperation on the side of the woman. They wondered how the leadership of the House would ignore the former Clerk and his Deputy, while going ahead to confirm a staff who they said is much Junior staff.
It will be recalled that while asking Hon. Chief (Barr) Chris Duru and Deputy to proceed on suspension, a committee headed by the former legislator for Nkwerre State Constituency, Hon. Chika Madumere, was constituted to look into the spurious allegation of dereliction of duty.
Having submitted it’s report, one had expected a legislature that knows it’s onions, to publish the report or make their recommendations public before going ahead to appoint a substantive Clerk. Doing so means negating transparency in the conduct of House business.
Subsequently,some members of the House are of the opinion that the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, either lacks cognate knowledge of what due process in the recruitment and promotion of staff is all about.According to one of the lawmakers, Barr. (Mrs) Emeghara, has just been promoted to a position of incompetence, more so when there is no qualified hand to deputize her, going by the fact that those who ought to be appointed Deputy Clerk of the House, are her superiors, equipped with more or better academic qualification and requisite working experience.
The development has since caused bad blood and discord among workers of the Assembly, some of who feel that it is a rape of bureaucracy and evidence of weakness on the part of the Assembly leadership.