From Chuks Moses, Awka
This is not the best of times for the serially embattled Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mrs Rita Maduagwu who was removed Tuesday by the majority members of the Assembly which elected Ikem Uzoezie as the new Speaker.
The members had cited financial impropriety and high-handedness against the erstwhile Speaker.
However in a quick counter, apparently geared towards efforts to dispel the removal report, Maduagwu led 10 other members to hold sitting after others left.
Curiously, both groups adjourned sitting till 15th November.
But during her own “factional sitting”, the former Speaker said “such action (her removal) by dissident lawmakers will not stand”.
While describing her removal as a nullity, the Speaker claimed that most Assembly members were still with her.
She insisted that the proponents of the impeachment plot will never get up to the constitutionally required two-thirds majority of at least 20 or the 22 they claimed to have, to successfully remove her.
According to her, “How can they say they are 22.
“Look at all the members with me here, so where did they get their 22 members.
“All they need to be able to impeach me is 20 members, and they don’t have that.
“They did not follow due process, that is why the Clerk refused to swear in the Speaker they purported to have elected.
“They have nothing against me, and they can not impeach. Did they read any offence, or did they serve me? There are processes that must be followed before impeachment can work.”
“I was getting ready to go down for plenary when I was told they have moved a motion and impeached me.
“I was not served, they needed only 20 members to impeach me but they could not get that, two of our members are also abroad and have called to support us.”
Investigations revealed those behind Maduagwu’s removal were principally members who are reported to have failed to obtain the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) reelection ticket as allegedly earlier promised them by the party for delivering their constituencies in the Nov 16, 2017 governorship poll that gave Gov Willie Obiano a landslide.
Neither Uzoezie nor Maduagwu has answered or returned calls or text messages to their phones.