The Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Martins Okechukwu Azubuike, has been impeached by the lawmakers.
He was impeached by 20 out of the 24 members of the House on Thursday.
A member representing Obingwa East State Constituency and Deputy Majority leader of the House, Solomon Akpulonu, who moved the motion, said Azubuike was impeached because he failed to ensure equitable distribution of position among members of the Assembly.
Akpulonu gave other reasons for the speaker’s impeachment, saying, “he has remained insensitive to the rights and needs of members and general staff of the Assembly.”
“His autocratic practices have brought the Abia State House of Assembly on collision course with other arms of government and agencies of Abia State. He has abused the office of the speaker by using same for personal and private political interest.”
“It is therefore in observation of these acts of gross misconduct that we owe the state House of Assembly and Abia State this constitutional service. Therefore pursuant to section 92 sub section 2 (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, we the members of the Abia State House of Assembly resolved to remove and hereby remove Rt Hon Martins Azubuike, member representing Isiala Ngwa North as Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly.”
The Deputy Speaker, Cosmos Ndukwe, who presided over the meeting, said the 20 signatories had exceeded the mandatory 16 required by law and moved for nomination of a new speaker.
He said the development was a matter of urgent public importance.
Ndukwe said, “With the development, Rt Hon Martins Azubuike ceases to be the Speaker of the House.”
There was no dissenting voice against what the deputy speaker said and Azubuike was subsequently removed as the speaker of the House.
He was replaced with a member representing Osisioma North State Constituency, Kennedy Njoku.
Njoku was nominated by a member representing Obingwa East, Solomon Akpulonu, while the second nomination was made by a member representing Isiala Ngwa South, Chikwendu Kalu.