The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo has kicked against the suspension of two of its lawmakers by the party’s caucus in the state House of Assembly.
This is contained in a statement signed by the state Chairman of the party, Mr Charles Ugwuh, and read to newsmen in Owerri on Monday by the party’s Secretary, Mr Ray Emeana.
The party described the suspension as unlawful, hence demanded that it be overturned, while the affected members should be reinstated with immediate effect.
Recall that the Minority Leader of the house, Mr Anyadike Nwosu, and the Minority Whip, Mr Philip Ejiiogu, both of PDP, were suspended for alleged “unparliamentary conduct” on July 8.
But, according to PDP, it is unconstitutional and unacceptable to suspend a principal officer of any legislative house without fair hearing.
“We will remind you that some days ago, the Speaker of the house announced the suspension of six elected representatives of Imo people in the house, including two from the PDP, which is currently in the minority.
“While we disapprove of this unlawful suspension, we know that it is unheard of and thus unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful and unacceptable that a principal officer of any legislature at any level is suspended without the benefit of fair hearing,” the party added.
It further stated that by virtue of their elevated offices, they enjoyed some privileges, which precluded their suspension from the house for the reasons proffered by the speaker.
“We find the entire narrative a dangerous threat to democracy in Imo, in particular, and Nigeria in general,” it stated.
PDP further stated: “Those members were elected by their people to represent their interest and act as check and balance in the democratic governance of the state.
“Any attempt to suppress them and gag them is indeed a usurpation of their responsibility and powers and an impeachable misdemeanour.
“Imo PDP is adequately persuaded that it is not normal to suspend people before constituting a panel to hear their own account of the charges levelled against them.
“Having said that, we charge the speaker to do the needful and restore the lawmakers that he suspended without recourse to rule of law and due process.”