A lawmaker of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) representing Ikwerre State Constituency, Mr. Azubuike Wanjoku has been suspended by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
But the former Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, described Wanjoku’s suspension as a sad day for democracy in the state.
Wanjoku, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, was suspended after being accused of allegedly expressing his position in the November 22, 2017 edition of a national daily against the resolution of the House on the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
It was gathered that Wanjoku, who spoke on behalf of other APC members in the House, had specifically said that they (APC members in the House) would explore legal redress should their names be included in the Assembly’s petition against SARS.
But during plenary on Monday, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Martin Amaewhule, decried Wanjoku’s action, adding that the lawmaker (Wanjoku) made such a statement at a time the 8th assembly was working towards moving the state forward.
Amaewhule, who said he was relying on Order 42, Rule 10 of the House Rules, urged the House to suspend Wanjoku.
Earlier, the Speaker, Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani, had maintained that the statement against the resolution of the House, which was credited to the lawmaker, was made in bad taste and aimed at discrediting members of the 8th Assembly.
Explaining that lawmakers were expected to conduct themselves within the ambit of the law and the House Rules, Owaji-Ibani said, “Recently, this Assembly has heard in the print and electronic media, every now and then, comments, made by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“Beyond making such comments orally, the member went ahead and printed such comments; and such comments were issued in bad taste just to bring down the value and name built over the decades by this great Assembly. As members, it is improper for us to conduct ourselves in a manner unbefitting of legislators.
“Our attention has been drawn to several of such comments and write-ups by a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Azibuike Wanjoku. The last but not limited to a publication in the Nations Newspaper of November 22, 2017.”
However, 15 lawmakers voted in favour of the suspension while two APC lawmakers voted against the suspension of the lawmaker.
Continuing, the Speaker immediately referred the matter to the Ethics and Privileges Committee.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )