Justice Goody Anunihu of Owerri High Court 2 yesterday nullified the indefinite suspension slammed on five Imo lawmakers by the leadership of the state House of Assembly last June. Justice Anunihu, who is the administrative judge of the state High Court, also awarded a cost of N8 million against the state Assembly.
Five members of the Imo State House of Assembly, perceived to be loyal to the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, were suspended, indefinitely, in what the Speaker, Acho Ihim, had alleged to be “unparliamentary conduct” unbecoming of legislators.
The affected lawmakers were Chiji Collins, Isiala Mbano state constituency, Ifeanyi Nnataraonye, Mbaitoli (deputy Governor’s LGA), Uche Oguwuike, Ikeduru state constituency (deputy governor’s in-law) and Ikenna Nzeruo, representing Oru east state constituency.
They were members of the coalition alliance, who had refused to join in the impeachment plot against the deputy governor and the alleged N50 million oath taking and endorsement of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor in 2019.
In his judgement, the presiding judge described the purported suspension of the lawmakers as an act of impunity of the highest order by the leadership of the state Assembly.
Justice Anunihu also restrained the leadership of the Assembly, its agents, privies, servants from interfering, stopping, impeding in a manner, whatsoever, in the rights of the lawmakers as members of Imo State House Assembly.