The Imo state House of Assembly has suspended four of its members to smoothen the ground for the commencement of impeachment proceedings on the deputy governor of the state, Eze Madumere, who has fallen out with the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
The came days after the national convention of All Progressives Congress in Abuja where supporters of the governor and his deputy engaged each other in a free-for -all while president Muhammadu Buhari was addressing the convention.
The speaker of the state House of Assembly, Acho Ihim, who presided over the plenary accused the suspended members of engaging in “unparliamentary conducts.”
The affected lawmakers included Chiji Collins,representing Isiala Mbano state constituency, Ifeanyi Nnataraonye, Mbaitoli (deputy Governor’s LGA )Uche Oguwuike, Ikeduru state constituency ( deputy governor’s in-law) and Ikenna Nzeruo, representing Oru west state constituency.
The speaker immediately appointed Lawman Duruji who represents Ehime Mbano as the chairman of the committee that will look into the allegations of the “unparliamentary conducts”.
Ihim who did not explain what he meant by unparliamentary conducts, announced that the suspension was indefinite and that his leadership would not tolerate acts that would reduce the integrity of the Assembly before the members of the public.
One of the suspended lawmakers, Collins was not allowed by the speaker to speak when he raised up his hands in protest. The three other lawmakers stayed away from the plenary.
But an insider source told our correspondent that the four members were suspended after they failed to endorse the impeachment proceedings on the deputy governor which would commence any time soon.
One of the affected lawmakers who did not want his name in print told our correspondent that himself and three of his colleagues were suspended just to get at the deputy governor who has scores to settle with the governor.
According to him “what is unparliamentary conduct? They just called a dog a bad name just to kill it. They want to begin the impeachment proceedings on the deputy governor.
“They tried to win us before the just concluded national convention of our party but the four of us and our colleagues who are members of People’s Democratic Party refused.
“The only way they can weaken us was to suspend four of us. They know that with our suspension and coupled with the few members of PDP in the house, the impeachment process will be a smooth one”, one of the lawmakers said.
But the speaker of the state House of Assembly, told our correspondent that there was no political colouration in the suspension of the four lawmakers.
He said that anybody linking the suspension to impeachment proceedings on the deputy governor was raising a negative alarm .
Ihim advised the suspended members to sort themselves out with the committee set up to investigate their “unparliamentary conducts .”