Ikemba Uzoezie

The factional Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Ikem Uzoezie, on Thursday held a plenary session with 25 out of the 30 members of the house amidst tight security.

Before the session, the resumed sitting of the house on Thursday assumed violent dimension as policemen blocked the entrance to the premises, while they also shot tear-gas canisters into the atmosphere.

The sitting was the first after the Speaker of the House, Rita Maduagwu, was impeached on Tuesday, but she claimed that “They need two-thirds of our members to impeach the Speaker or the governor,” and since that wasn’t achieved, “I’m still the Speaker.”

Sequel to her purported impeachment on Tuesday, a member of the House, Ikem Uzoezie of Aguta II Constituency was nominated as the new Speaker.

No fewer than 300 policemen manned the Assembly area from the Alex Ekwueme Square entrance of the complex as from 8am.

Workers of the judiciary and others who had any business in the area were denied entrance.

Trouble began when an All Progressives Grand Alliance House of Representatives candidate allegedly mobilised some supposed supporters to the House to show solidarity for Maduagwu.

Police, however, tear gassed them.

When the calm returned, the lawmakers gained entrance into the legislative complex and held a sitting presided over by Uzoezie.

The lawmakers were 25 in number during the sitting.

The embattled Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, who was said to in her office at the Assembly complex was absent at the plenary.

The sitting lasted for an hour.

Addressing journalists, Uzoezie said the new face of legislature in Anambra would ensure quality representation of constituents, quality legislation and maintenance of peace in the state.

He said, “We held the sitting peacefully despite the earlier turmoil, having 25 members out of 30 legislators of the house sitting at the same time.

“The Deputy Speaker, Mr Halford Oseke, Majority leader Victor Okoye, Minority leader Mr Onyebuchi Offor and other members were present during the session and the sitting went uninterrupted.

“We have adjourned to November 20.”

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