The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly and member representing Isiala Mbano Constituency, Dr Chiji Collins, of the All Progressives Congress, was on Friday removed.
The member representing Onuimo Constituency, Paul Emeziem, also of the APC, was elected as the new speaker. The assembly has 20 APC members and seven Peoples Democratic Party members.
Collins was elected in June 2019 after he defected from the All Progressives Grand Alliance to the PDP, during the ousted Emeka Ihedioha administration. When Governor Hope Uzodimma took over in January 2020, the impeached speaker, alongside others, joined the APC.
Amid heavy security at Ojukwu Centre, which served as the temporary venue of the assembly, the members, led by the Deputy Speaker, Chyna Iwuanyanwu, presided over the short session that began around 2 pm.
After the impeachment saga, Emeziem with other members/supporters headed to the Government House, Owerri, to visit Uzodimma.
Though journalists were not granted access to the plenary, a reliable source said, “Collins is not in the plenary but 16 legislators out of 27 impeached the former speaker. The Majority Leader, Uche Ogbuagu, member representing Ikeduru Constituency, was present during the impeachment.”
Efforts made to get Collins’ reaction was futile as his media aide, Emeka Ahaneku, did not pick up calls from our correspondent.
It was gathered that members of the assembly had been dissatisfied with the conduct of the former speaker.