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Impeached Imo Speaker pledges loyalty to Uzodimma

By Charles Ogugbuaja and Collins Osuji, Owerri
10 November 2021   |   3:04 am
The immediate past Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem (APC, Onuimo), has pledged unalloyed support for and loyalty to Governor Hope Uzodimma and his administration in the state.

Hope Uzodimma

Successor raises probe panel, dissolves all standing committees
• I will not interfere in House of Assembly’s affairs, says governor

The immediate past Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem (APC, Onuimo), has pledged unalloyed support for and loyalty to Governor Hope Uzodimma and his administration in the state.

Emeziem, who was impeached on Monday, appreciated the governor and lawmakers for giving him the opportunity to serve. 

He told newsmen in Owerri, yesterday, that it was his determination to contribute effectively to the development of the state that informed his decision to contest the Assembly seat.

“Despite what must have happened, the overall interest of Imo State is paramount to me. Hence, the most important thing in my mind now is to remain an agent and advocate of a better Imo. I sincerely thank our governor, Uzodimma, for his love, support and confidence reposed in me, which contributed immensely to my emergence as Imo Assembly Speaker in the first place. I owe him my continued total and unalloyed loyalty and support. 

“I also want to apologise to anyone I might have stepped on their toes in the course of discharging my duties as the Speaker and strongly believe that together, leaving the past behind us, we shall achieve a better and prosperous Imo of our collective dream,” he added.

HOWEVER, Uzodimma said he would not interfere in the activities of the legislative arm of the government.

He stated this at the Government House in Owerri when he received the new Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibeh, Deputy, Amara Iwuanyanwu, alongside the impeached Speaker, Emeziem and other lawmakers.

The governor said Imo State at the moment needed a functional and efficient House of Assembly.

He also advised the new leadership of the House to unite and forget whatever happened in the past that led to the emergence of a new Speaker.

“I will not interfere in their independence as an arm of government but rather partner with the lawmakers on how to serve Imo people better. I want to congratulate the lawmakers for resolving to elect a new Speaker of their choice peacefully without external interference. What happened that resulted in a peaceful and democratic election of the new Speaker is a victory for democracy.

“Imo State needs a united, functional, effective and efficient House of Assembly that will work towards giving the people the desired dividends of democracy.

“Bring down your eyes and do more work. Whoever will occupy any position is for a time. The opportunity is always one at a time. Therefore, bring pragmatism into your work and make the legislative business attractive and interesting. I want to remind the lawmakers that God is the ultimate decider of what anyone will be in life and, or what position one will occupy as a human being,” Uzodimma said.

MEANWHILE, the new Speaker, Kennedy Ibeh, has raised a five-man ad hoc panel to investigate the allegations against Emeziem and two others – Ekene Nnodumele (Orsu) and former Deputy Speaker, Okey Onyekanma (Mbaitoli). Emeziem was accused of highhandedness, forgery and abuse of office.

This was as he dissolved all the standing committees of the House set up by the past leadership.

Ibeh stated, yesterday, that the new committees would be announced and inaugurated soon.

Members of the panel are Kanayo Onyemaehi (Owerri West) as Chairman, Frank Ugboma (Oguta) as Vice Chairman, Duru Johnson (Ideato South), Emeka Nduka (Ehime Mbano) and Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East).

Offences of Nnodumele and Onyekanma were not clear at press time.

Ibeh emerged as Speaker after he and 18 other members reportedly signed impeachment notice for Emeziem to pave way for his ascension.

The 18 members are Kanayo ‘Dele’ Onyemaehi (Owerri West), Arthur Egwin (Ideato North), Duru Johnson (Ideato South), Michael Njoku (Ihitte-Uboma), Emeka Nduka (Ehime Mbano) and Obinna Okwara (Nkwere).

Others are Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East), Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West), Okoro Cyracious (Ohaji/Egbema), Frank Ugbomma (Oguta), Uju Onwudiwe (Njaba), Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru), Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano) and Eddy Obinna (Aboh Mbaise).

Anyadike Nwosu (Ezinihitte Mbaise), Ngozi Obiefule (Ịsụ), Otuibe Samuel (Ahiazu Mbaise) and the reinstated Deputy Speaker, Amara Iwuanyanwu (Nwangele) completed the list.

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