Imo speaker suspends three lawmakers, declares Ngor Okpala rep vacant

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Imo House of Assembly

The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibeh, has declared vacant the position of the member representing Ngor Okpala state constituency, Tochi Okere.

The speaker, therefore, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a bye election to elect a new representative for the state constituency.

The Speaker also suspended three lawmakers for what he called dereliction of duty.

The suspended lawmakers are Authur Egwim (Ideato North), Ngozi Obiefule,(Isu), and Obinna Okwara (Nkwerre).

At a plenary on Thursday, the Speaker said that the sacking of the Ngor Okpala representative was in line with the House Rules and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said that Okere had not attended plenaries up to one- third since he was inaugurated as a lawmaker in 2019.

Ibeh disclosed that the house register indicated that the sacked lawmaker only attended plenaries 29 times in 2019, 14 times in 2020 and had not attended any plenary in 2021.

The speaker also disclosed that the parliament had received two petitions from Ngor Okpala, urging the Assembly to declare the seat vacant on the basis of non performance.

Ibeh also said that the three suspended lawmakers failed to attend legislative activities on 2022 budget proposals as submitted to the Assembly by the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.

Our correspondent recalls that with the latest suspension of the three lawmakers, six lawmakers are now suspended after the immediate past speaker, Paul Emeziem, a former deputy governor, Okey Onyekanma and a former minority leader, Ekene Nnodimele, were slammed with indefinite suspension on November 8, the day Ibeh emerged the speaker.

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