Saturday, June 18, 2011

Former speaker says Imo lawmakers suffered four-year siege

13 June 2011

"You can never exactly appreciate the level of intimidation, threat, harassment and duress under which the last Imo Assembly operated for the greater part of four years. I cannot bring myself to blame any of my colleagues because I was a witness to the level of suppression they had to contend with on a daily basis." This was part of Amaechi Nwoha's statement as he gave insight into the running of the state Assembly under the impeached speaker, Goodluck Opiah.

Mr Nwoha, who is the immediate past Speaker, said more than half a dozen legislators were suspended without fair hearing for taking stands divergent to the agenda of the deposed speaker and former governor, Ikedi Ohakim.

"I was suspended while on an official assignment to Spain. No notice, no fair hearing; it was just summary judgment and then suspension," he said.

"Under this same condition, I was suspended on two occasions with each of the suspension lasting more than eight months." Beside the alleged legislative recklessness, Mr Nwoha noted while interacting with reporters that the last four years in Imo were "locust years within which gross maladministration, misrule and rots were foisted on the state".

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