Nigeria: Days After Supreme Court Judgement, Nine Imo Lawmakers Defect to APC

21 January 2020

Nine lawmakers in the Imo House of Assembly, including its minority leader, have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) days after the ruling party clinched the governorship position via a Supreme Court ruling.

The Deputy Speaker of the assembly, Okey Onyekamma (Mbaitoli, PDP) also, on Tuesday, resigned his position as a principal officer of the Assembly.

The minority leader, Ekene Nnodumele (Orlu, APGA) first resigned his position, then defected to the APC.

The speaker of the Assembly, Collins Chiji (Isiala Mbano, PDP) Tuesday announced the developments on Tuesday.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Imo State.

The apex court then declared Hope Uzodinma of the APC as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state. Mr Uzodinma originally came fourth in the election.

The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad gave the unanimous decision on Tuesday in Abuja.

Defections, resignations

Reading Mr Onyekamma's resignation letter dated January 20, 2019, the Speaker disclosed his was as a result of "convention and zoning".

He said the convention prescribes that the deputy speaker should be from the geo-political zone of the sitting governor.

The Speaker then announced the defection of nine members of the assembly from their respective parties to the APC citing various reasons for their defections.

Gale of defections

Four members left the Action Alliance (AA); two from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and three other lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They all defected to the APC.

Arthur Egwim, representing Ideato North defected from the Action Alliance (AA), Amarachi Iwuanyanwu from Nwangele defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Chidiebere Ogbunikpa (Okigwe) also from the PDP.

The Nkwere representative, Obinna Okwara, defected from the AA; Paul Emeziem from Onuimo left the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), alongside Ekene Nnodumele of Orsu.

Johnson Duru of Ideato South and Ngozi Obiefule of Isu also left the AA while Okoro Hercules from Ohaji Egbema defected from the PDP to APC.

Meanwhile, at the plenary session, the House screened and confirmed Cyprian Akaolisa for the position of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice following Governor Hope Uzodinma's request for speedy consideration of his nomination.

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