Imo Assembly impeach speaker Emeziem, installs Ibe
Lawmakers of the Imo State House of Assembly have impeached the Speaker of the house, Paul Emeziem (All Progressives Congress, APC, Onuimo Constituency), and replaced him with a ranking member, Kennedy Ibeh (APC, Obowo Constituency) as the new Speaker.
Ibe becomes the third Speaker since the house was inaugurated in June 2019.
The impeached speaker was not allowed into the chamber for the plenary session at the temporary assembly complex, Ojukwu Centre, Owerri. The security after disallowing him continued making calls, but when it became apparent that they would not allow him in, he drove away.
After the brief sitting, the new speaker and lawmakers drove away in their convoy.
Emeziem, the second Speaker, had barely stayed a few months in office since the members were inaugurated in June 2019, after the first Speaker of the ninth assembly, Dr. Chiji Collins (APC, Isiala Mbano) was also impeached unceremoniously, after enjoying the office for a few months.
The new speaker was installed under a security tight environment. Accredited journalists, covering the assembly were not allowed in. But some journalists from the Government House, Owerri, were allowed to cover the brief session.
Sources said out of 18, out of 27 members of the assembly, who signed the impeachment document, about 10 were present.
The fresh crisis rocking the Imo Assembly erupted last week, November 2, when the Deputy Speaker, Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu (APC, Nwangele Constituency), was removed from office.
Emeziem was accused of expediting the process of impeaching Iwuanyanwu, having quickly acted on a resolution document presented to him by the member representing Orsu Constituency, Ekene Nnodumele (APC), specifying that 18 members of the assembly, including the hitherto, six suspended members, resolving to impeach Iwuanyanwu.
The same day the impeached Deputy Speaker was removed, the six suspended members, Mr Dominic Ezerioha (APC Oru West), Uche Ogbuagu(APC Ikeduru), Philip Ejiogu (PDP Owerri North), Anyadike Nwosu (PDP Ezinihitte), Kennedy Ibeh (APC Obowo) and Michael Njoku (APC Ihitte Uboma), were recalled. They had been suspended on July 8, for alleged unparliamentary conduct.
The Guardian learned that Iwuanyanwu, is a favoured candidate of the Governor, Hope Uzodimma. The governor was allegedly reported to have approached Emeziem, to reverse the impeachment, but was allegedly met with stiff opposition.
The members who had adjourned after Iwuanyanwu’s impeachment, to reconvene last Thursday, could not. They, however, surprisingly reconvened on Monday, without the pre-knowledge of some people.
Iwuanyanwu and his loyalists had boasted severally that his impeachment would not stand, adding that the action was taken to facilitate the impeachment of Uzodimma. The Guardian gathered that the accusation fueled the reaction of the governor to work towards stabilising the assembly.