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Abia Assembly boils as two speakers emerge


•Abia State House of Assembly

Abia State House of Assembly is currently boiling over the alleged election of a new speaker to replace Engr. Chinedum Orji.

A faction of the House had in a sitting presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, sat and impeached Orji and elected Hon. Chukwudi Apugo who represents Umuahia East constituency, as the new speaker.

Former speaker of the House, Hon. Kennedy Njoku, had moved a motion which was seconded by Hon.Chijioke Chukwu, accusing Orji of insensitivity to the welfare of the members, among sundry offences.

His words; “I want to move a motion considering the present situation in the House of Assembly and the feelings of members towards the speaker of the 7th House, Engr. Chinedum Orji, of his insensitivity to the welfare of members and other sundry activities. It is clear to us that all these have led to gross misconduct on the office of the speaker. Hence, I move a motion for the removal of the speaker.”

Two hours after Apugo’s emergence, Orji stormed the Assembly complex and commenced sitting with his loyalists and suspended 9 members including the new speaker. They also elected Hon. Mandela Obasi as the new Deputy Speaker and Hon. Emeka Okoroafor as the new minority Leader.

Those suspended include; the deputy speaker, Ifeanyi Uchendu, and former speaker, Hon. Chikwendu Kalu, former speaker,Hon. Kennedy Njoku, Minority Leader, Hon. Chijioke Chukwu, Hon. Obinna Ichita, Hon. Okey Igwe, Hon.Thomas Nkoro and Hon.Aaron Uzodike.

Condemning the action of suspended members, Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Solomon Akpulonu has said they lacked the required number to impeach the speaker and cannot carry out an impeachment in a private building.

He said; “You can’t impeach a speaker from the comfort of your home. If the speaker had committed any offence, the process of impeachment must be followed. But they went to a private building,the clerk of the House wasn't present, they didn’t bring any motion to the House to consider ,they didn’t have the required two thirds majority to impeach the Speaker. Some of the signatures of members were forged. This was a joke taken too far and we won’t condone it.”

Ikpeazu wades in

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has offered to mediate the crisis in the State House of Assembly.

Ikpeazu stated that with barely less than one month to the end of his administration and the ushering of a new administration, it will absolutely make no sense to engage in any issue that is likely to plunge the state into confusion.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary,Sir Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Governor explained that his preoccupation is how to pilot the ship of State peacefully and steadily into the new administration and tie up all administrative matters including the completion of key projects.

He urged the Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon. Chinedum Orji and members of the Assembly to maintain the peace and allow reason and patriotism to guide their actions.

It was gathered that Ikpeazu would be meeting with the feuding legislators in a few hours. (Vanguard)


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