Tongues are presently wagging and eye brows raised, following the outrageous action of the Speaker, Imo State House Assembly, Hon Chike Olemgbe, who unilaterally suspended four of his colleagues, because of a newspaper publication, without following due process.

The Speaker, in a statement issued by his media aide Samelson Iwuoha, said the four lawmakers were suspended for insubordination and exhibition of unruly conduct and attitude unbecoming of honourable members. He made reference to what happened at a training session the lawmakers attended at the Institute of Advance Legal Studies, Abuja, where some of them reportedly ganged up against the Speaker, who they allegedly poured invectives on for no just cause, except to raise dust with a view to causing tension that would ultimately lead to his removal from office.

According to him, the reprehensible conduct and attitude of the lawmakers at Abuja, which hinted at an ominous plot, was given credence by publications in two prominent Imo based newspapers which reported about plot to impeach the Speaker because of his subservience to the executive whose whims and caprices he unquestionably upholds.

The statement dated July, 2, 2024, reads in part, “The Speaker of the Imo state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Chike Olemgbe, has moved against some members of the House who are plotting to impeach him.

To this end, four members of the House who were identified as the arrow heads of the plot have been suspended with immediate effect. 

They are: Hon Samuel Chidiebere Ogbunikpa, Representing Okigwe State Constituency, Hon Dominic Ezerioha, Representing Oru-west State Constituency, Hon Samuel Nkem Otuibe, Representing Ahiazu Mbaise State Constituency, Hon Henry Agabasonu, Representing Ezinihitte Mbaise State Constituency.

For some time now, the House of Assembly has been restive and the atmosphere somewhat tensed as some Members have been fanning the embers of discord to achieve their own purely selfish ends. 

This has heightened tensions  and was  threatening to affect the smooth relationship between the Legislature and the Executive, and by extension, destabilising the peace in the State. A situation which the State is not ready for at this time.

The situation came to a head at a Training Workshop, which all the Members attended in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, last week.

On the very first day, the course, the Institute of Advanced Legal and  Democratic Studies which was the venue for the workshop was reduced to a battlefield as legislators who were opposed to the Speaker and the Leadership of the House could no longer restrain themselves. They left what the course they were attending and resorted to openly casting aspersions on the Speaker. 

It was alleged that this was a discreet plan by them to openly discredit the Speaker, so as to give rise to his planned impeachment. 

Tempers and voices rose as those legislators in support of the Speaker could no longer take it and decided to challenge those insulting the Speaker.  A shouting match ensued.  The commotion caused a huge disturbance in the Institute and attracted Senior Members of Staff of the Institute who came in to mediate and calm the battling Members. 

The Staff disclosed that they had held several of such courses for legislators from various parts of the country over the years, but that they had never witnessed the sort of drama where Members would publicly denigrate their Speaker and House Leadership and so were shocked by the action of Imo state House of Assembly Members. 

Indeed, it was a show of shame. Obviously, the fight the impeachment plotters instigated in Abuja was part of a larger plot and did not just happen for nothing. There had been clandestine plots to cause havoc in the House.

of democratic governance posited that, “though the Speaker is a novice who does not understand the pros and cons of legislative business, I suspect that Hon Kennedy Ibeh, who once declared the seat of his colleague, Obinna Okwara of Nkwerre State constituency vacant when he was Speaker, is very close to the current Speaker who is apparently answerable to him I am persuaded to believe that, if care is not taken, Kennedy Ibeh and the Clerk of the House, Barr Chinelo…………, will mislead Olemgbe into making more grievous mistakes that will project the entire House in bad light”.

“Where on earth has it ever happened. How can a Speaker of the House of Assembly wake up and suspend 4 of his colleagues who were elected same day and in the same way as himself?”