Speaker has no right to suspend us – Imo lawmakers challenge Emeziem

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Some of the suspended lawmakers of Imo State House of Assembly have challenged the speaker, Paul Emeziem, to establish facts and reasons for their suspension.

The member representing Owerri-north state constituency, Philips Ejiogu, who spoke on a radio program (Ozisa FM) in Owerri said, he was waiting to hear from the speaker what prompted his decision to suspend him.

Ejiogu who is of PDP extraction further challenged the speaker to explain more on what he meant by ‘unparliamentary conduct’ exhibited by some of them who were suspended.

He said “if I tell you that I’m not confused, I’m telling a lie. I didn’t know if I will laugh or get angry when I heard that I was suspended alongside six other members of the Assembly.

“I was in Abuja when I was notified of that. I’m still in Abuja as I am talking to you.

“The House sat on Wednesday and adjourned to 14th of July, and all members were looking up to that date to reconvene for seating. Little did I know that the Assembly caucus had rescheduled for an emergency seating to carry out their evil plan.

“We all know the House rules and regulations, and we respect it. What was it that we did that warranted our suspension?

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“It is true that I had spoken about the delay in the release of our constituency funds which would enable us execute our constituency projects. Could it have been the reason for my suspension?

“Tell me, what right has the speaker and his cohorts to suspend a duly elected member of the House? This is an affront to my constituents who elected me.

“What sort of useless leadership is this! I’m waiting to hear from the speaker what prompted his decision to suspend me and my colleagues.”

In his reaction, the member representing Ihitte-uboma state constituency, Onyemaechi Njoku, said the speaker cannot, in any way, suspend him, insisting that he would continue to attend plenaries.

He said there was a Supreme Court judgement that barred the speaker from suspending any member of the House, hence, his suspension was null and void and of no effect.

He added, “there is nothing like unparliamentary conduct. I will continue to represent my people by attending plenaries.

“Moreover, the so-called speaker did not put the purported suspension to voice vote, he only read out the announcement. This is most unparliamentary on its own.

“Also, I’m a member of the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, and our rules say that when there is a case of misconduct of any member of the House, the matter would be addressed to the committee and not the other way round.

“The speaker failed to understand that we all know the House rules. It is wrong for the House to constitute an Appeal Committee against an existing Committee on Ethics and Privileges, whose duty it is to deal with such development before presenting same to the floor of the House. After which, the House will take the final decision of suspending such members if they were found culpable.

“I insist that I am not suspended. I will continue to attend plenaries. The speaker can’t suspend my people by suspending me, no way! This is undemocratic and alien to our law.”

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