Anambra lawmakers to APGA: Our suspension lacks due process
Mr Ikem Uzoezie, factional Speaker of Anambra House of Assembly (ANHA), has dismissed his suspension by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as illegal and uninformed. Uzoezie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday that the leadership of APGA in Anambra did not follow the procedures in suspending party members. It will be recalled that Chief Norbert Obi, Chairman of the party in the state, had on Nov. 15, announced the suspension of three lawmakers, including Uzoezie, the new speaker of the Assembly. Others were Mr Harford Oseke, the Deputy Speaker and Mr Victor Okoye, the Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The chairman said their suspension followed their leading role in the impeachment saga where Mrs Rita Mmaduagwu was purportedly removed without carrying the party along. Uzoezie said the party overreached its bounds as the events in the parliament were wholly internal to it, adding that members were at liberty to change their leaders who were not effective. He said the party was supreme but noted that it had to do with party matters and not an independent institution like the parliament.
According to him, I represent a constituency that has APGA and non-APGA members, so you cannot say we did not carry the party along. “I have not been formally communicated, I only saw it in the media and my party members called me to tell me about it. “All the same, I am a lawmaker who is versed in laws and procedure; the state chairman should have referred to the constitution of the party. “I am one of the oldest members of the party, there are procedures for suspending members of a party, you don’t just wake up and suspend members, we are not in a Banana Republic. “Every action must be guided by the rule of that organisation, if not, it amounts to a nullity; I am surprised by their action, I know they will rescind their action and good reason shall prevail. “I agree that party is supreme, but that has to do with party matters so that argument does not hold water, besides, we are not in a parliamentary democracy where the party dictates. “I want to dismiss the suspension as illegal and inconsequential,” he said.
The lawmaker said he was the new Speaker of ANHA as the change in leadership was a collective resolve of the majority of members. He said Speakers were elected by members to serve their interest and when they are not doing the bidding of the generality of the House, they fire them and elect competent ones. “As an independent body, the House of Assembly is at liberty to change its leadership if they are not performing, we are peers, co-equals, so it is purely internal to us. “Those who say there is no change of leadership in ANHA, including the chairman are living in their own imagination but as it concerns us, we have removed our former Speaker. “The impeachment stands and all other principal officers remain,” he said. Also speaking to NAN, Mr Harford Oseke, Deputy Speaker of ANHA, noted that he was not aware of his purported suspension. Oseke described the action against him as futile as there was no nexus between APGA and the ANHA, adding that he had not committed any crime against the party.
He said he would welcome the suspension with open arms and would not return to the party whenever he was formally notified. “I will thank the chairman of APGA if they truly suspended me, what am I doing in APGA, they have killed APGA. “I am not coming back if they actually suspended me, though I have not received their notice for my suspension, I only saw it on social media. “What is the relationship between House of Assembly and APGA? “I accept it in good fate, they have made things easy for me, I can now freely move to another party if I like APGA to deal with us,” he said. Vanguard