IMO ASSEMBLY GOES AFTER PDP LAWMAKERS
•NKWERRE MEMBER’S SEAT DECLARED VACANT, AFTER PLOY TO SUSPEND OWERRI MUNICIPAL LAWMAKER
The intensified effort to shut down the minority members in the Imo State House of Assembly is gathering momentum with the latest sack of the new PDP decampee, Obinna Okwara.
Hon Okwara increased the number of the minority caucus to seven having defected from the APC to PDP last week.
There was an attempt to suspend Hon Anukam of Owerri Municipal over allegations of affront on the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, when he presented the sacked Governor, Emeka Ihedioha as his Governor on AIT network.
A committee was immediately set up by the Speaker to look into the allegation, which would thereafter be followed by a stiffer punishment.
While there is still tension on what would become the outcome of the investigation panel on Anukam who is of the Minority caucus, Okwara who just joined PDP was served with an expulsion.
It is end of the road for Rt Hon. Obinna Okwara, member for Nkwerre State Constituency as he has been asked to leave the 9th Imo House of Assembly.
Speaker Kennedy Ibeh during yesterday’s plenary session declared Nkwerre Seat vacant, thereby terminating the continued stay of Okwara as a member of the 9th House.
Ibeh, relying to section 109 of 1999 Constitution as amended, said Okwara erred by defecting to another party other than the party that gave him the mandate in 2019.
Through a motion moved by member for Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Hon Blyden Amajirionwu, he prayed that the Seat of Hon . Obinna Okwara be declared vacant owing to his defection to PDP.
Hon. Blyden who copiously quoted section 109 of 1999 Constitution as amended, particularly subsection (1) and (2), said that any member who left the party that sponsored his election and moved to another party, the Speaker shall declare such a seat vacant.
His motion was seconded by Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, member representing Isiala Mbano State Constituency. The Speaker who immediately consulted the Constitution and House Rule, asked that Hon Blyden Amajirionwu substantiate his allegation by presenting evidences.
The Ngor- Okpala member laid pictorials and VCD to the table showing where Hon. Obinna Okwara defected to PDP and raised up PDP party card.
Bound by the constitutional provision, the Speaker who painstakingly read the relevant portions of the constitution, called for voice votes, with almost all the honourable members giving nod to the constitutional provision.
The Speaker therefore declared the seat of Nkwerre State Constituency vacant and called on INEC to conduct bye-election in the area within a specified period of 90 days.
The four-month old suspension handed on some House members of Imo State Assembly has been relieved off the man for Ideato North State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Innocent Arthur Egwim.
Egwim was re-admitted to the House, yesterday, by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Kennedy Ibeh, after a public apology tendered to the leadership of the House.
The ranking Member had on Tuesday apologized to the Speaker, the Leadership and Members for derelicting to duty which was the reason he was suspended on December 23, 2021 alongside his colleagues from Isu and Nkwerre State Constituencies, Honorable Ngozi Obiefule, and Obinna Okwara, respectively.
While the others had remained suspended for reasons best known to the House, Egwim received clemency of the House.
It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the Ideato North Lawmaker was reported hospitalized in far away Nasarawa State on return from abroad trip.
It was earlier reported to be a kidnap attempt on him, not until the Ideato man opened up on the true case which boardered on some health challenges.
Part of the apology letter reads, “Consequent upon my suspension on December 23rd, 2021, I write to apologise for my unparliamentary conduct of not participating in Budget appraisals by Ministries and MDAs as stipulated in the guiding rules of Imo State House of Assembly as directed by Mr. Speaker.
“Accordingly, I plead with you to temper justice with mercy and restore me to the House”.
The content of the letter, Trumpeta learnt could have been the soothing ointment that necessitated Egwim’s recall.
ANY HEADWAY FOR EMEZIEM, ONYEKANMA, NNODUMELE, OBIEFULE?
•AS OTHER SUSPENDED MEMBERS FAULT COMMITTEE CLAIMS
One of the questions begging for an answer is what has become of the other suspended Lawmakers of the 9th House of Imo State House of Assembly.
The House last year 2021 had barred the following elected members from participating in legislative activities.
They are; Honorable Paul Emeziem, Okey Onyekanma, Ekene Nnodumele, Ngozi Obiefule, and Obinna Okwara.
Among them was Arthur Egwim of Ideato North, whose suspension was lifted yesterday.
Following the lifting of suspension on Egwim, questions have been posed on the House demanding to know the way forward for others who were suspended for unparliamentary conduct.
The investigation committee led by the Majority Leader, Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi in a recent release stated that none of the victims had approached his committee for an interface.
On the contrary, the sacked Nkwerre Lawmaker, Hon. Obinna Okwara opened can of worms from Onyemaechi’s assertion, and claimed no invitation was extended to any of them .
Not only that he described the majority Leader’s postulation as a blatant lie, he added that the House Leadership should not dwell on fallacies.
Okwara who spoke to newsmen at his Nkwerre residence last week Saturday,
condemned the act of lying against the Lawmakers by presenting them before their constituents and the general public as people who have forgotten that they are holding people’s mandate.
Hon Okwara said all the accusations raised on the suspended Lawmakers were ploy to tarnish their legislative image, as well as to whittle down their constituents’ confidence in them.
On that note, he challenged Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi to present the letter of invitation sent across to them.
Said he: “This whole thing is becoming childish. Lies upon lies. Six suspended lawmakers shun House Committee; when was the committee set up ? I think the Committee is supposed to invite the members of the House you intend to investigate, so to speak. Now, I do not know when I turned to witch or wizard to know that something was set up. Something that was set up and it was not in the Hansard of the State House of Assembly. It was not mentioned”.
“Now you are saying that we did not present ourselves to the Probe Committee. Blatant lies. Why all the lies? It’s like giving a dog bad name just to hang it. If you set up a Committee, the Committee should invite whoever is involved to interface with the Committee”.
Okwara further added, “Well, it is not a Mickey Mouse, neither is it a House of Commotion. The Assembly is a legislative arm of government but everything is being done like a kangaroo House. I weep for our generation. I weep for the 9th Assembly.”
He also faulted the House for their actions, and blamed them for a breach of the House Rules which should have been saddled with the Ethics and Privileges Committee, after which, their recommendation would be adopted.
As at the time of filing this report, nothing was said about the other suspended Lawmakers apart from sending Okwara parking.
MOURNFUL MOOD, AS IMHA CLERK BURIES MOM MAY 6
The death has been announced of the passing unto glory of the matriarch of Ndukwe family, Dame Keziah Adaora Ndukwe, SCM, NRN, DNAM (Nee Nwokolo), who died at the glorious age of 97.
The late Dame Keziah was the mother of the Clerk of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chinelo Adaora Emeghara Esq., and the first female substantive Clerk of the House since its inception.
According to the obsequies signed by the son, Dr. A. C Ndukwe, obtained by Trumpeta Newspaper, mama will be laid to rest in May 6, 2022, after the commendation service that will take place at Our Saviour’s Church, Tafawa Belewa Square, Lagos State.
Thereafter, tributes and celebration of life shall follow at the Habour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Assembly Vibes discovered that although the late icon exited at a ripe age, the Clerk had been in mournful mood.
Always smiling and dedicated to her duties, it may not be the best time and moment for madam clerk.
Commiseration messages have been trooping in from friends and associates.
While all preparations geared towards giving her late mom a befitting funeral are on top gear, we condole with her and her family, and ask God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.