The Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Paul Emeziem, has on Sunday, July 11, 2021, dismissed claims in some quarters, that the suspension of six lawmakers of the assembly was inappropriate, insisting that it followed due process.
Emeziem told newsmen in Owerri, during the weekend that the suspension “is constitutional”, against the claims by the affected legislators that their suspension was illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic.
He said that the House under his leadership had remained resolute to effective service delivery and would not condone behaviours and activities from members that were capable of bringing the state legislative arm to disrepute and ridicule.
The speaker maintained that the decision of the House became necessary in order to protect the image, sanctity, peace and ensure the progress of the House.
He furthered stated that it was also aimed at safeguarding the healthy relationship, cum synergy, existing between the House and the other arms of government in the state, adding that the actions of the erred members were constituting threats to that healthy relationship.
The Imo Speaker, who regretted that the affected lawmakers were guilty of one parliamentary misconduct or another, added that there was no reason for the leadership of the House to witch hunt any member with suspension or whatever.
He however described the suspension as a soft, but adequate disciplinary measure against erring members which is enshrined in the rules of the House.
He said, “in the first place, it is our duty as the leadership of the House to ensure the existence and sustenance of this our own arm of government so as to be and remain effective in the discharge of our duties”.
According to him, It is their duty to run the affairs in the House of Assembly in such enabling way as to remain in synergy with the other arms of government in order to provide a functional environment for the people.
He said, “We have taken time to observe unnecessary insinuations by certain members, abuse on the personalities of fellow colleagues, autocratic demands of rights and privileges without references to the rules. Some members have even derailed from understanding the primary aim and objective that brought us in the House.”
The speaker said that the leadership having examined the level of tension already generated through the above unparliamentary behaviours and actions of certain members and decided to take soft but adequate disciplinary measures on them towards reinstating peace and progress in the House.
Emeziem recalled that an Appeal Committee headed by the Deputy Speaker, Amara Iwuanyanwu, was set up by the House to entertain any grievance or whatsoever regarding the suspensions and related matters, adding that there was nothing shameful or any act of thuggery about what happened during and after the plenary.
The House, apart from the suspension, had sacked and replaced the Chief Whip and dissolved all standing committees.
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