There was heavy presence of armed security men Tuesday at the Imo State House of Assembly premises, sparking insinuation of possible crisis among the Lawmakers.
The presence of the security men at the entrance gate scared some of the Lawmakers and prompted them to converge at the Speakers lodge.
At the tension soaked session, which was boycotted by 17 members, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Acho Ihim, suspended the Majority leader of the House and member representing Owerri Municipal, Hon Lugard Osuji (APC) for two weeks.
The Speaker explained that the action was in a bid to get over the “intrigues and counter intrigues in the House”.
He also announced the immediate replacement of the suspended Majority leader and his Deputy, Kennedy Ibe (APC).
The Speaker disclosed that the Principal officers were relieved of their duties following a request by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a letter signed by the state Chairman, Mr Hilary Eke, calling for their recall over undisclosed reasons.
He also appointed the member representing Ikeduru, Dr Uche Oguwike as the new Majority Leader, while Hon Chinedu Offor was the new Deputy Majority leader.
Meanwhile, in what appeared like a counter move, the sacked Majority leader and his Deputy, tendered letters of resignation citing the collective interest of the House as the reason for their action.
The Chief Whip of the House, Mr Marcel Odunze (Orlu APC) also tendered his resignation and was promptly replaced by member representing Ideato North, Hon Arthur Egwim (APC).
Addressing journalists at the Speaker’s lodge, the Minority leader of the House and representative of Ahiazu Mbaise, Ken Agbim, stated that the members of the House were acting in defence of democracy.
Agbim stated that the presence of armed military and police officers at the House was an attack on democracy.
He however insisted that they were not fighting with the state government, adding that “we are also part of the government”.
But according to him, the Legislators had sought clarifications from the Executive concerning the budget for 2018 which was to be presented at the House on the 30th of November.
He said, “We needed some clarifications from the Executive concerning the budget and it is clear our questions did not go down well with the Executive.
We believe what happened today is an attack on democracy and for the first time in a long time we are trying to ensure our nascent democracy does not suffer”.
Meanwhile when contacted, the APC State Chairman, Hillary Ekeh, said the party decided to withdraw the two Principal Officers to pave way for others to equally contribute their quota.
According to him, “they not accused of any anti-party activities but the party felt that they have served for a long time and needed to be changed”.