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Tension in Abia Assembly Over Speaker’s Impeachment

By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
Enugu Nigeria (African Examiner) – Tension has enveloped the Abia state House of Assembly, following the impeachment of its Speaker, Martins Okechukwu Azubuike, on Thursday by 20 out of 24 members of the legislature.

For fear of uncertainty, armed security men have taken over premises of the House.

The Deputy Majority leader of the House, Solomon Akpulonu representing Obingwa East State Constituency who moved motion for the impeachment, said Azubuike was removed because he failed to ensure equitable distribution of position among members of the Assembly.

According to him, the former speaker “remained insensitive to the rights and needs of members and general staff of the Assembly.”

“His autocratic practices have brought the Abia State House of Assembly on collision course with other arms of government and agencies of Abia State.

“He has abused the office of the speaker by using same for personal and private political interest.

“It is, therefore, in observation of these acts of gross misconduct that we owe the state House of Assembly and Abia State this constitutional service.

“Therefore, pursuant to section 92 sub section 2 (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, we the members of the Abia State House of Assembly resolved to remove and hereby remove Rt Hon Martins Azubuike, member representing Isiala Ngwa North as Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly.”

Deputy Speaker of the House, Cosmos Ndukwe, who presided over the meeting, said the 20 signatories had exceeded the mandatory 16 required by law and moved for nomination of a new speaker.

He stated that the development was a matter of urgent public importance, adding that
“With the development, Rt Hon Martins Azubuike ceases to be the Speaker of the House.”

Azubuike was replaced with a member representing Osisioma North State Constituency, Kennedy Njoku.

Njoku was nominated by a member representing Obingwa East, Solomon Akpulonu, while the second nomination was made by a member representing Isiala Ngwa South, Chikwendu Kalu.

Efforts to get reaction of the sacked Speaker hit the rock, as his mobile phone line and that of his media aide were not reachable.

 

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