A socio-cultural and political group, Izhi-Nnodo Progressive Front, IPF has issued a 72-Hour ultimatum to the Ebonyi State House of Assembly asking it to lift the suspension of the member representing Ebonyi North West Constituency in the State’s House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Aleke.
Hon. Aleke was suspended indefinitely on Friday, penultimate week on allegations of misconducts via a motion of urgent public importance moved by leader of the House, Hon. Victor Chukwu and seconded by the member representing Ohaukwu North Constituency, Hon. Chinedu Onah.
In a statement released yesterday in by its National President, Comrade Sunday Nwafoke and Secretary, Desmond Nkwegu in Abakaliki yesterday, the group however said the action of the lawmakers was questionable, spurious and antidemocratic. The group said it specifically observed that the established House Rules for the suspension of members were not procedurally followed which it said had rendered the entire exercise very futile.
“Order 68 (i) of the House Rules specifically posits that the suspension of members can only be done following the process in the rule. And sub-section (ii) of the same order further specifies that the suspension of a member must be by 2/3 majority of the House.
The provisions of sub-section iii of the same House rule which states; On a member being suspended, the Speaker must make a definite statement of the duration which shall never exceed 14 days”, the statement read in part.
It therefore wondered why the House hurriedly executed the said suspension without recourse to its standing rules.
Said the group, “But for the fact that the House under the leadership of Speaker Nwifuru who is unfortunately being used by some extraneous forces against his own brother for the second time in just a year, he could have hearkened to the opinion of the member representing Ezza South State Constituency, Hon. Chris Usulor who rightly demanded for a head-count of lawmakers at the plenary to determine those in support or against the motion for the suspension of our beloved brother before making his ruling.”
The group, made up of members who are predominantly people of Ebonyi North West Constituency where the lawmaker hails from lamented that the indefinite suspension of Hon. Aleke was the second time he was given such ill-treatment after being re-elected into office in 2019 during which he suffered serious delay for three months before being sworn-into office.
His crime, according to the group is that he expressed his interest as a two-timer in the State’s House of Assembly to vie for the office of the Speaker which is within his legitimate right.
“Same evil agents that plotted and executed the delay in the inauguration of our lawmaker which lasted for three months are obviously behind this indefinite suspension. We hereby condemn this dastardly action and call on the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ogbonnaya Nwifuru to immediately convene a sitting with a view to lifting the said suspension, at least within the next 72 hours.”
It said the allegations of misconduct levelled against the lawmaker was spurious, illogical and without any sense of consideration for the people he represents especially coming at a time when Hon. Aleke has been one of the most vocal in his decision to stick to the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP who’s mandate he has to represent his people after a successful and impactful one-tenure in the State Assembly.
“Undoubtedly, the House cannot claim that the suspension slammed on Hon. Aleke is not connected to his bold and courageous stand of refusing to defect to the APC with Governor Umahi. We wish to make it known to the world that as his constituents, we remain very proud of him and shall continue to support him in any way he so desires”, it maintained.
The group also cautioned the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Nwifuru whom they claimed is being used as a ready and willing tool by the Umahi-led Executive arm of government to plot and execute anti-Izhi agendas to be careful and always think home first rather than allowing himself to be used against his own brothers and sisters.
“If our solemn request which we believe is within our constitutional right as Hon. Aleke’s Constituents to ask questions and demand accountability for the sake of the rest of our people who massively made their choice in him in 2015 and 2019 elections respectively are not taken seriously or granted, we shall explore other lawful and legal means to ensure that our people are not short-changed”, it concluded.