Drum beats can be heard loudly across Owerri, the capital of Imo State. The executive and legislative face-off has shifted gears.

Three principal officers of the Imo House of Assembly on Tuesday resigned their positions following alleged controversies surrounding the 2018 appropriation bill.

They include: Majority Leader, Lugard Osuji, his deputy, Kenneth Ibe and the Chief Whip of the House, Marcel Odunze, all of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Tendering their resignation, the former majority leader said the action is in the 'collective interest’ of the assembly.

Tuesday's sitting was quite dramatic as more than half of the members refused to enter the hallowed chambers of the House of Assembly in a bid to frustrate proceedings.

They sat in the gallery, clad in jeans and shirts and watched the sitting in utter discontentment.

The Speaker, Acho Ihim, announced the appointment of the member representing Ikeduru, Uche Oguwike, as the new Majority Leader and Chinedu Offor as his deputy.

Ihim also replaced the chief whip with Arthur Egwim (APC) representing Ideato North.

The Speaker said the action was in a bid to get over the `intrigues and counter intrigues’ in the house.

He said that the former principal officers were relieved of their duties before their resignation following a request by the APC in a letter signed by the state Chairman, Hilary Eke, calling for their recall.

Addressing journalists at the lodge, the minority leader of the House and representative of Ahiazu Mbaise, Ken Agbim, said that the lawmakers were acting in defence of democracy.

According to him, the legislators had sought clarifications from the executive regarding the 2018 budget which was presented to the assembly on November 28.

“We needed some clarifications from the Executive concerning the budget and it is clear our questions did not go down well with the governor.

“We believe what happened today is an attack on democracy and for the first time in a long time, we are trying to ensure our nascent democracy does not suffer,” he said.

He also urged the state government to give the legislators the opportunity to work for their people, lamenting that they had been unable to execute constituency projects in their areas.

Recall that the legislators boycotted the presentation of the 2018 appropriation bill by Governor Rochas Okorocha.


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