Drama As Ebonyi Assembly Suspends Lawmaker
By Chinwe Onwosi
Mild drama played out as the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, on Friday, suspended indefinitely, member representing Ebonyi North West Constituency, Hon. Victor Aleke, on grounds of gross misconduct and actions that undermine the peace and integrity of the House.
The motion of urgent public importance moved by the Leader of the House, Victor Chukwu and seconded by the member representing Ohaukwu North Chinedu Awoh, Victor Aleke. was suspended.
The suspension was due to indictment by the report of the 7-man ad-hoc committee which Aleke was also a member of, set up by the House in January, and chaired by Hon. Christian Usulor to investigate the declining nature of the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Aleke was said to have connived with the Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area – Hon. Barr. Clement Omekannaya Odah in subverting the efforts of the committee, in their investigation of revenue contracts by Hon. Odah.
Chukwu also moved a motion that the executive chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Mr Clement Odah, be suspended alongside the lawmaker.
He said “it was found out that Odah was using his office to influence contracts and collections to himself, and afterwards, refuse to remit same to the State’s coffers. The chairman and members put in all necessary efforts to see to the success of the committee, but all efforts to ensure justice was done, would always be frustrated or made to suffer setbacks. Unknowingly to us, Aleke was the mole amongst us.” –
But the motion for the suspension of Odah was stepped down by the Speaker, Francis Nwifuru, who said it would be discussed during the next plenary, while Aleke’s was upheld.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama as the member representing Ezza South Constituency, Chris Usulor, opposed the Speaker, and requested that there should be a headcount of the lawmakers at the plenary to know those in support or against the suspension of Aleke before he made his ruling.
But Nwifuru quickly said his request was against the House rule.
Aleke was not present in the chamber when his suspension took place on Friday.
On whether the suspension of Aleke had any connection with his alleged refusal to join Governor Umahi to All Progressives Congress, the chairman House Committee on Information and member representing Ishielu South, Hon Arinze Chukwu-Lucas, said it had nothing to do with defection.
Recall that at plenary Thursday, January 16, 2020, the House set up a 7-man ad-hoc Committee to investigate the IGR issues in the State. Chairman and members of the committee included: Hon. Christian Usulor (Chairman), Hon. Victor Uzoma Chukwu, Hon. Victor Aleke, Hon. Chinedu Awoh, Hon. Chukwuma Igwe, Hon. Chinwe Lilian Nwachukwu and Hon. Chidi Ejem.