The Imo State Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of confidence on her members in the State House of Assembly (SHA), praising them for defending the tenets of democratic principles as well as being effective legislators.
Meanwhile both members of the PDP and the minority caucus in the state assembly condemned vehemently the suspension of two members in the SHA.
The party also accused the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, of corroding the democratic principles of separation of powers and checks and balances by arrogating to himself the combined powers and authorities over the other arms of government.
The Imo State Chairman of the PDP, Mr. Charles Ugwuh, who addressed newsmen on Monday at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, said that the suspension of six lawmakers by the Speaker of the SHA, Hon. Paul Emeziem, was unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal and unacceptable because principal officers of any legislature should not be suspended without the benefit of fair hearing.
Ugwuh said: “Our party is most appalled that such anomaly has been allowed to be recorded in the annals of the Nigerian legislature, with the Imo House of Assembly as the trailblazer in the ugly practice.
“We have it in good authority that the minority leader is a principal officer of the legislature and by virtue of the elevated office, he has some privileges which preclude his suspension from office for the reasons stated by the speaker.
“As a party, we condemn in its entirety the said suspension and urge the speaker to as a matter of urgency withdraw the suspension and allow the lawmakers to continue to carry out the task of representing the people and making laws for the proper functioning of Imo state.”
Also speaking, the Minority Leader, Hon. Anyadike Nwosu, representing Ezinihitte Mbaise, alleged that the suspension was an attempt to intimidate minority lawmakers who have vehemently refused to compromise their conscience at the expense of their legislative responsibilities.
Anyadike, on behalf of the other seven members of PDP in the SHA, called on all men of good conscience and the state governor, to call the Speaker to order for the sake of peace in the state assembly and the state in general.
He said: “Opposition is an integral part of governance and democracy as guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution. Brigandage, intimidation, persecution and harassment can only breed more crises. The minority caucus state that no constituency is inferior to the other as no local government is inferior to the other.”
The minority caucus further advised the leadership of the House to desist from actions, conduct and attitude that would embarrass, ridicule and undermine the image, honour and integrity of the SHA as stated in Section 39 (40) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) that an elected legislator with the mandate of his people could not be sanctioned or unceremoniously removed from seat with a wave of the hand.
Six active members of the SHA were unceremoniously suspended by the speaker. Those suspended were four members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and two members of PDP.
They are Mr. Uche Ogbuagu (APC, Ikeduru LGA); Mr. Anyadike Nwosu (PDP, Ezinihitte LGA and Minority leader); Mr. Ezerioha Dominic (APC, Oru West LGA); Mr. Philip Ejiogu (PDP, Owerri North LGA); Mr. Micheal Onyemaechi (APC, Ihitte Uboma LGA) and Mr. Kennedy Ibe (APC, Obowo LGA).