The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly Kennedy Ibeh has declared vacant, the seat of the member representing Ngor Okpala State Constituency, Tochi Okere.
The Speaker announced this at Thursday’s plenary, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a by-election to elect a new representative for the state Constituency.
The speaker also suspended three lawmakers for dereliction of duty. Those suspended are Authur Eguim (Ideato North), Ngozi Obiefule (Isu), and Obinna Okwara (Nkwerre).
Ibeh said that the sacking of the Ngor Okpala representative was in line with the house rules and the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
He noted that Okere had not attended plenaries up to one-third since he was inaugurated as a lawmaker in 2019.
The speaker revealed that the House register indicated that the sacked lawmaker only attended plenaries 29 times in 2019, 14 times in 2020 and had yet to attend any plenary in 2021.
He added that the parliament had received two petitions from Ngor Okpala, urging the Assembly to declare the seat vacant on the basis of non-performance.
Ibeh also said that the three suspended lawmakers failed to attend legislative activities on 2022 budget proposals as submitted to the Assembly by the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.
Tith the latest suspension of the three lawmakers, six lawmakers are now suspended from the Imo House of Assembly after the immediate past speaker, Paul Emeziem, a former deputy governor, Okey Onyekanma, and a former minority leader, Ekene Nnodimele, were slammed with indefinite suspension on November 8, the day Ibeh was elected speaker.