The Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike [pictured] was yesterday impeached by members of the House.
Elombah.com learnt that former governor of the state, Chief Theo Orji orchestrated the impeachment.
The plan according to sources is to make his son, Chinedum Orji – who is leader of the House, the Speaker.
However, a new Speaker, Bishop Kennedy Njoku, representing Osisioma Ngwa North was immediately elected to replace Azubuike.
Sources however told Elombah.com last week that the speaker faced impeachment because of a pending court case against the election of Okezie Ikpeazu as governor.
“in the event Ikpeazu loses, the speaker might be asked to take over and he is not in the camp of the TA’ Orji”, an insider said.
The Supreme Court might rule on the governor’s tax case in February 2017.
Uko Nkole, the Rep member representing Arochukwu/Ohafia was said to have collected N500million from Governor Ikpeazu to help using his legal contacts but without success.
“The calculation is that if the Supreme court would sack Governor Ikpeazu, the Speaker of the House would step into his shoes”, Elombah.com was told.
“Former governor, TA Orji would want a Speaker in his camp, if that happens”, our source revealed.
Orji was the former governor that made Ikpeazu to succeed him.
Twenty out of the 24 members signed his impeachment notice but 19 of them sat at the plenary when he was impeached.
16 members make up the quorum for the House to sit.
Njoku got 16 votes to defeat his opponent, Chikwendu Kalu, representing Isiala Ngwa South who got three votes, including the vote of the leader of the House, Chinedum Orji.
Azubuike’s impeachment motion which was brought under matter of urgent public importance by Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, representing Obingwa East constituency, was seconded by Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu from Ohafia South.
In the motion, the former Speaker was accused of financial recklessness, high handedness and insensitivity to the members and staff of the House as well as abuse of office.
The deputy speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe presided over the session.
After the motion was moved and seconded, the clerk of the House called out the names of those who signed the impeachment notice with each of them replying with “I signed”.
Elombah.com learnt this was the fourth impeachment attempt on the Speaker who was said to have been saved in the past by the leader of the House.
Speaking to journalists, the mover of the motion said that they had on occasions, advised the former speaker on some of the allegations but he never listened to them.
The former speaker who had earlier called journalists to say his side of the story later called off the briefing.
Signs of trouble in the House showed in the morning when an unusual presence of police men were noticed at the gate and premises of the House.
Before the impeachment, members had met for over two hours trying to resolve the matter by trying to extract an agreement from the former speaker that he would not preside over in a scheduled sitting of the House today.
It was learnt that members wanted to give him a soft landing until he attempted to take away the Mace, an action that annoyed the members who were there and they decided to go ahead with the impeachment.