RIVERS ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS APC LAWMAKER

RIVERS ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS APC LAWMAKER

Rivers State House of Assembly
has suspended one of its members,
Hon Azubuike Chikere Wanjoku,
over a publication credited to the
lawmaker concerning an earlier
resolution of the House.
The comments, which was
published in a national daily, was
in reaction to a resolution made by
the House concerning the activities
of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad,
SARS, and its commander in the
state.
But in a reaction to the
resolution, which was published
in a national daily, Wanjoku, who
represents Ikwerre constituency,
called on the Assembly to exclude
the names of the six lawmakers
elected under the platform of the
All Progressives Congress, APC, in
the House, saying they would seek
legal redress if their names were
included in the petition.
The publication read in part:
“APC lawmakers in the Rivers
State House of Assembly will
send their position on the matter
to the National Assembly. We will
explore legal redress if our names
(APC lawmakers) are contained in
the petition.”
Speaking on the matter during
plenary yesterday, majority leader,
Hon Martin Amaewhule expressed
sadness that the lawmaker would
be making such comments at a
time the eighth Assembly was
putting efforts to move Rivers State
forward. Relying on Order 42 Rule
10 of the House Rules, Amaewhule
called on the House to suspend the
lawmaker.
Addressing the House earlier,
Speaker Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani
insisted that the publication was
made in bad faith and intended
to bring disrepute to the image
of the Assembly, adding that
the lawmakers must conduct
themselves within the ambit of the
law and House rules.
He said: “Recently, this
Assembly have heard in the print
media, electronic media, every
now and then, comments, made
by a member of Rivers State House
of Assembly. Beyond making such
comments orally, the member went
ahead and printed such comments
and such comments 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 unbefittig of
a legislator.
“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 22nd
November, 2017.”
When a vote was put across, 15
lawmakers present at the plenary,
including the minority leader,
voted in favour of the suspension
while two APC lawmakers voted
against.
Speaking further after the vote,
the speaker referred the matter
to the Ethics and Privileges
Committee for thorough
investigation and to find out the
reason why the House should not
proceed with the suspension of
Hon Wanjoku.
He said: “By his suspension,
therefore, Hon Azubuike Wanjoku
should withdraw from any plenary
until he answers to the matter
before the House and the Ethic and
Privileges Committee is to invite
Azubuike Wanjoku as quick as
possible to answer these issues.”
Meanwhile, former deputy
speaker of the Rivers State House
of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee has
described the suspension of
Azubuike Wanjoku as a sad day for
democracy in Rivers State.
Kwanee, who spoke tonewsmen,
said Wanjoku was denied the right
to be heard.
Kwanee said: “I consider
today to be a very said day for
democracy in our state because
the case of Ndume and the Senate
of the Federal Republic has laid
to rest that no one can suspend a
serving legislator because it is not
about the person, it is about the
Constituency.”
According to him, for the speaker
to raise the issue on the floor of the
House is a mockery on democracy.
“I am inclined to put the problem
in the state to the 8th Assembly
because they have not been able
to rise up to the occasion of good
lawmaking,” he stated.






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