Sacked Imo lawmaker tackles Speaker, says seat not vacant

Sacked Imo lawmaker tackles Speaker, says seat not vacant

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Sacked Imo lawmaker, Obinna Okwara, on Thursday, said that the Speaker, Kennedy Ibe, had no constitutional power to declare his seat in the parliament vacant.

Okwara, whose seat was declared vacant by the Speaker during a plenary on Wednesday for defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party from the All Progressives Congress last week, said that the Speaker was pre-empting the court.

He said there were over five cases at the Federal High Court in Owerri challenging the defection of 17 lawmakers to the APC by some groups.

Okwara said the speaker, who himself defected to the PDP and the APC from the Action Alliance in 2019, was a party in the suit.

He said it was sub judice for the Speaker to interfere in a matter that was already in court in which he was a co-defendant, adding that Ibe risked a jail term.

Okwara said, “The Speaker risks a jail term for declaring my seat vacant. The matter he dabbled into is sub judice. There are five suits at the Federal High Court in Owerri challenging the defection of 17 out of the 27 Imo lawmakers from the PDP to the APC.

“We are lawmakers, we don’t interpret the laws. The courts do. He who goes to the equity must go with clean hands. The speaker should first declare his own seat vacant for defecting to three political parties in four political outings in three years.

“He was sponsored by Action Alliance for his re-election in 2019. Shortly after his inauguration, he joined the PDP when Emeka Ihedioha was the governor. Immediately Hope Uzodinma came on board, he joined the APC. Just look at the kettle calling the pot black.

“You don’t keep something on nothing and expect it to stand. Who is even the complainant in this matter? Did I write any letter to the House announcing my defection to the PDP? This is a parliament that suspended me for attending the burial ceremony of Uche Nwosu’s mother in December.

“I will go to court for the interpretation of Section 109 which he relied on to declare my seat vacant. He doesn’t have the right. He has shot himself in the foot and I am not moved by his shenanigans.”

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