The game of musical chairs at the Imo State House of Assembly took a dramatic turn on Monday when the lawmakers reinstated Amara Chyna Iwuanyanwu as the Deputy Speaker after sacking the Speaker, Paul Emeziem.
Iwuanyanwu was impeached by 18 out of the 27 lawmakers on Tuesday, November 2.
The former Speaker, Paul Emeziem, who presided over the plenary on that day, okayed the impeachment of Iwuanyanwu without reading the content of the resolution.
But in a dramatic twist, the lawmakers on Monday morning impeached Emeziem, who represents Onuimo State Constituency, and replaced him with Kennedy Ibe, the lawmaker representing Obowo State Constituency.
The exercise was carried out amidst tight security with 19 of the 27 lawmakers said to have signed the impeachment papers after Iwuanyanwu stormed the Chambers with six lawmakers and some security personnel.
Member representing Ọrụ East State constituency, Hon. Chigozie Nwaneri, in a motion, accused the former Speaker of desecration of the Assembly among other impeachable offenses.
Members, who conducted the special plenary under closed door, hurriedly left the Assembly premises soon after.
Imo State Assembly has been rocked by crisis since Senator Hope Uzodimma became governor in January 2020 after the Supreme Court declared him winner of the 1999 poll in a ruling that remains controversial.
Amara Iwuanyanwu was removed on November 2 through a resolution signed by 18 out of the 27 lawmakers of the Assembly, which was presented before the plenary.
Member for Orsu State Constituency, Hon. Ekene Nnodim, submitted the resolution.
Receiving the resolution, the now impeached Speaker, Paul Emeziem, said, “Since this resolution was signed by 18 members, out of the 27, the resolution stands.”
In July, Emeziem pronounced an indefinite suspension of six lawmakers, accusing them of engaging in ‘unparliamentary conduct’.
The affected lawmakers are, Kennedy Ibe (Obowo), Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru), Anyadike Nwosu (Ezinihitte Mbaise), Onyemaechi Njoku (Ihitte Uboma), Philip Ejiogu, (Owerri North) and Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West)
The suspension had resulted in pandemonium at the plenary as gunshots rent the air before the Speaker was shielded out of the Assembly complex.
Incidentally, the Assembly announced the recall of the suspended members the day the Deputy Speaker was impeached.
Emeziem said the legislators had repented, hence the decision to lift the suspension.