The Rt. Hon. Chukwudi Apugo-led House of Assembly has suspended its dethroned Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, Majority Leader and six others for holding an illegal plenary a few hours after the speaker’s impeachment.
It also dismissed the purported removal/suspension of the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Honourable, Ifeanyi Uchendu and others as illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
This was contained in a statement signed by the new Speaker, Rt. Honourable Chukwudi Apugo in Umuahia on Wednesday.
The statement said the embattled former Speaker, Orji, ceased to be the Speaker of the House yesterday following his impeachment by the two-thirds majority for gross misconduct and abuse of office.
“It is, therefore, illegal for the impeached Speaker to preside over the House of Assembly plenary having been removed from the Office earlier yesterday,” the statement reads.
The suspended lawmakers are Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji (Umuahia Central), Hon. Solomon Akpulonu (Obingwa East), Hon. Paul Taribo (Ukwa East) and Hon. Mandela Obasi (Ohafia North).
Others are Hon. Ginger Onwusibe (Isiala Ngwa North), Hon. Abraham Oba (Aba Central), Hon. Emeka Okoroafor (Isiukwuato) and Hon. Jerry Uzosike (Umuahia South).
In today’s plenary, the House elected the member representing Aba North State Constituency, Hon. Aaron Uzodike, as the new Majority Leader.
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Apugo, while reaffirming the dissolution of all House standing Committees, also reconstituted the following Committees – Appropriation, Public Accounts, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Adhoc Committee on the review of the activities of the House of Assembly-.
Rt. Hon. Kennedy Njoku and Hon. Obinna Ichita will chair the Appropriation and Public Account committees, while Hon. Chijioke Chukwu and Rt. Hon. Chikwendu Kalu will chair the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Adhoc Committee on the review of the activities of the House.
“The House of Assemble would take legal actions against the suspended members if they go on to hold illegal plenaries,” the speaker warned.
He also advised security agencies in the state “to stand firm in its defence of the Nigerian Constitution and not patronize those violating the law.”