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Imo assembly adjourns plenaries over COVID-19 scare

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The Imo State House of Assembly has adjourned plenaries for two weeks over the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Announcing the development at the floor of the House Thursday, the Speaker, Rt Hon. Paul Emeziem said the adjournment became necessary to take precautionary measures to curb the spread within and outside the assembly complex.

He said, “Honourable colleagues, I want to appeal to us to take the issue of Covid-19 seriously. From available reports especially coming from the Chairman of the Imo State Covid-19 Taskforce Committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu, the virus is with us and ravaging.

“I hereby adjourned our sittings to 9th February, 2021. This period will enable us do the needful towards ensuring strictly adherence to all the precautionary measures in order to safeguard our lives and state from the dreaded virus.”

Also the state lawmakers had earlier amended some House rules concerning punitive measures against erring members.
This followed the motion moved by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu and supported by the Majority Leader, Rt. Hon. Uche Ogbuagu.

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Addressing newsmen shortly after the plenary, the Assembly Committee Chairman on Information, Ethics and Privileges, Johnson Duru said the amendment would help to ensure decorum and discipline among the members.

Duru said, “the motion is purely on the ethical conduct of the House members. A situation where a House member acted dishonorably, in the House rules, we have punitive measure which is two weeks suspension.

“But then, we have looked at this measure, it is not enough to deter somebody from misbehaving or hinder such person from committing similar offense.”

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He continued, “so in order curb such excesses or in order to maintain decorum in the House and to create a very good atmosphere that is honourable, we have decided to relax the rules. And we have left the punitive measure to the discretion of the House.

“In other words, when a person commits such an offense or behave dishonorably, the House will now sit, we can decide that this person can go for suspension for one year without allowances. And I can tell you that this amendment went down well with almost 90 percent of the members.”

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