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Imo Assembly adjourns plenary till Feb 9 over COVID-19

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Imo assembly

The Imo State House of Assembly has adjourned plenary for two weeks over the second wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state.

Announcing the development at the floor of the house yesterday, the Speaker, Paul Emeziem, said the adjournment became necessary to take precautionary measures against the spread of the virus 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 Imo State COVID-19 Taskforce Committee, Prof. Maurice Iwu, the virus is with us and ravaging.

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

The state lawmakers had earlier amended some House rules concerning punitive measures against errant members, following a motion moved by the Deputy Speaker, Amara Iwuanyanwu, and supported by the Majority Leader, Uche Ogbuagu.

Addressing newsmen shortly after plenary yesterday, the Chairman, House Committee 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 House members. A situation where a member acted dishonourably, 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 offence.”

So, we have decided to relax the rules and left the punitive measure to the discretion of the house.”

With the amendment, when a person commits such an offence or behaves dishonourably, the house will sit and decide their fate.

“The person can go for suspension for one year without allowances. I can tell you that this amendment went down well with almost 90 per cent of the members,” he added.

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