Anambra: Controversy as new Speaker presides over plenary with 25 out of 30 members
Controversy has continued to trail happenings in Anambra State House of Assembly following the purported impeachment of Rita Maduagwu as Speaker.
Maduagwu had opposed her removal on the claims that the lawmakers need “two-thirds of our members to impeach the Speaker or the governor.” And since that wasn’t achieved, “I’m still the Speaker,” she had said.
However, despite her insistence that she still remains the Speaker, a factional Speaker of the House, Ikem Uzoezie, on Thursday held a plenary session with 25 out of the 30 members of the House.
At least, 20 lawmakers of the House had on Tuesday following a motion moved by Uzoezie, impeached Maduagwu and selected Uzoezie who moved the motion for her impeachment as the new Speaker.
On Thursday when the lawmakers gathered for sitting for the first time since Maduagwu purported removal there was commotion everywhere around the Assembly complex as policemen blocked the entrance to the premises and shot tear-gas canisters into the atmosphere.
No less than 300 policemen manned the Assembly area from the Alex Ekwueme Square entrance of the complex as from 8am, and denied workers of the judiciary and others who had any business in the area entrance.
The commotion came following an All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) House of Representatives candidate, who allegedly mobilised some supposed supporters to the House to show solidarity for Maduagwu.
They were however tear gassed by the Police and stopped from continuing their protest.
As soon as the atmosphere became calm, 25 members of the Assembly gained entrance into the complex and held a sitting presided over by Uzoezie.
The embattled Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, supposedly in her office at the Assembly complex while the sitting was going on refused to attend.
The sitting lasted for an hour.
Uzoezie told newsmen after the sitting, “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 November20.”
The development came as the state APGA chairman, Chief Norbert Obi, on Thursday at a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Awka, announced the suspension of Uzoezie, Messrs Hartford Oseke, and Victor Okoye from the party, from championing the impeachment of Maduagwu.
By Ebere Ndukwu …