Owerri — The Deputy Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Okey Onyekamma, representing Mbaitoli State Constituency, has resigned his position and defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) along with eight other lawmakers.
Onyekamma and other defectors were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 general election.
The APC did not win any of the 27 available seats in the Imo State House of Assembly election whereas the PDP won 13, Action Alliance (AA) won eight and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won six.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Dr. Collins Chiji (Isiala Mbano PDP), announced the resignation of Onyekamma on the resumption of plenary after Christmas recess.
Reading Onyekamma's resignation letter dated January 20, 2019, the speaker said Onyekamma's resignation was as a result of convention and zoning, which prescribe that the deputy speaker should be from the geo-political zone of the sitting governor.
The speaker also announced the defection of nine members of the house from their parties to the APC, citing various reasons for their defection.
Four members left AA; two defected from APGA while three defected from PDP.
THISDAY gathered that the reasons for the defection by the lawmakers was not unconnected with the Supreme Court removal of former governor, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of PDP, and his replacement by Senator Hope Uzodinma of APC last Tuesday.
Hon. Arthur Egwim representing Ideato North defected from the AA; Hon. Amarachi Iwuanyanwu from Nwangele defected from the PDP and Hon. Chidiebere Ogbunikpa (Okigwe) also from the PDP.
The Nkwerre representative, Hon. Obinna Okwara defected from the AA, Hon. Paul Emeziem from Onuimo left the APGA together with Hon. Ekene Nnodumele of Orsu.
Hon. Johnson Duru of Ideato South and Hon. Ngozi Obiefule of Isu also left the AA while Hon. Okoro Syracuse from Ohaji Egbema defected from the PDP.
Also at the plenary session, the House screened and confirmed Mr. Cyprian Akaolisa for the position of Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice following the governor's request for speedy consideration of his nomination.
The PDP in the state had stated that the Supreme Court was destroying the country's democracy with its last Tuesday judgment, which sacked Ihedioha and declared Uzodinma as the duly elected governor of the state.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr. Damian Opara, had said the justices of the apex court had "ridiculed and annihilated democracy " by sacking Ihedioha from office.