Imo Assembly suspends ex-Speaker, majority leader

The drama at the Imo State House of Assembly on Friday continued as the lawmakers suspended the ex-Speaker, Acho Ihim, and majority leader, Lugard Osuji, for 11 legislative working days.

Ihim and Osuji had on Tuesday resigned, which promoted the election of Lawman Duruji as the new Speaker and Lloyd Chukwumeka as the new majority leader. Surprisingly, the new Speaker, Duruji, tendered his letter of resignation on Thursday, citing personal reason.

Chinedu Offor was subsequently elected the new Speaker.

At the Friday plenary, which was presided over by the new Speaker, Offor, the two former principal officers were suspended for 11 legislative working days.

The suspension of Acho and Osuji meant that they would no longer be part of the current Assembly whose tenure comes to an end on June 6, 2019.

The Speaker told journalists after the plenary that the former Speaker and ex-majority leader were suspended for running the legislature without diligence.

Offor said, “The former Speaker and ex-majority leader were suspended for lack of administrative diligence. We suspended them for 11 legislative working days because they did not run the House very well.”

Duruji had on Tuesday defeated Offor in an election held to fill the position of Speaker following Ihim’s resignation.

In that election, Duruji garnered 14 votes, while Offor got 11 votes.

But after Duruji’s resignation on Thursday, Offor emerged unopposed as the new Speaker after he was backed by his colleagues.

However, Offor, who represents Onuimo constituency, had lost his bid for re-election on the platform of the Action Alliance. He was elected into the Imo State House of Assembly on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in 2015.

Offor served as Chief Press Secretary, and later, Commissioner for Information, during the administration of the former governor, Rochas Okorocha.
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