–Uche Ogbuagu, 5 others suspended-As Okwara replaces Egwim as Chief whip
The Imo State House of Assembly yesterday descended into chaos after the Speaker of the House, Rt. Paul Emeziem, announced the suspension of six members for alleged ‘unparliamentary conduct.’
The said announcement did not go down well with the affected lawmakers who began to exchange words and almost led to fisticuffs before security personnel quickly led the speaker into his vehicle zoomed off.
It was learnt that the Speaker of the Assembly, Paul Emeziem, alongside some members of the House narrowly escaped being shot by some unknown gunmen after the announcement.
Sources close to the Assembly disclosed that Uche Ogbuagu who has been absent in the past two months and did not attend the last two sittings was suspended with his colleagues at plenary for not being loyal to the house leadership.
For some time Ogbuagu seems to be having a running battle with the leadership of the house and some power brokers.
He was reportedly absent at a recent town hall meeting the governor had with Ikeduru stakeholders.Though never stated why he was absent from the meeting but speculated that he was out of the country then.
Others suspended along with Hon Uche Ogbuagu were the lawmakers for Owerri North,Hon Philip Ejiogu;Ezinihitte Mbaise Barr Anyadike Nwosu; Ihitte Uboma, Michael crown Onyemaechi Njoku; Obowo Rt Hon Kennedy Ibeh and the representative of Oru West, Hon Damian Ezerioha.
In the same vein Hon Barr Obinna Okwara, the lawmaker for Nkwerre LGA was elevated to the position Chief whip of the House, replacing Hon Arthur Egwim while all the standing committees were also dissolved.
The speaker had earlier, during the plenary stated that the decision to suspend the 6 lawmakers was reached at the executive session of the House.He added that his leadership would not condone acts capable of bringing the House to disrepute and ridicule.
“We have observed that some members here have been conducting themselves in an unparliamentary manner thereby bringing the house to ridicule,” the Speaker said.
“We have thoroughly examined this issue at the executive session of the house and have resolved that peace and order must continue to reign.
“The executive session has therefore recommended the suspension of the members who have engaged in different misconduct.
“This action is in line with ensuring that the image of the house remains as it should be, while providing a functional environment and the synergy which we are required to provide to ensure all arms of government work together.”
Efforts to reach the Minority Leader of the house and other persons affected by the suspension was unsuccessful as they did not pick their calls.