The House Commenced Plenary on Tuesday after the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of Monday, 25th July, 2020, as a Working Document of the House.
The Speaker read a correspondence from the office of the Governor of Abia State on the screening of the following:
(1) Hon Tony Nwamuo – Commissioner Nominee
(2) Godswill Nwonoruo – Commissioner Nominee
(3) Eze Chikamnayo – Transition Committee Chairman Nominee for Umunneochi LGA
The Letter was signed by the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
MATTER OF URGENT PUBLIC IMPORTANCE.
Hon Barr Emeka Okoroafor brought a Matter of Urgent Public Importance on the illegal invasion of farmlands in Abia by herdsmen.
He cited the Anti Grazing Law passed by the House as an instrument to curtail the ugly incidents.
“Mr Speaker, as it stands today, we are being threatened, we are being maimed, our people are being displaced”.
He prayed the House to treat the matter as urgent.
(1) That the respective Transition Committee Chairmen sign an Executive Order declaring the camps used by herdsmen as illegal.
(2) For the TC Chairman to declare the movement of more than a herd of five cows at any particular point in time in Abia State as illegal.
(3) That the Ministry of Homeland Security should implement the anti Grazing Law of Abia State.
After Contributions by Lawmakers, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, reminded the Lawmakers that there was an already existing Law signed by the Governor which was passed by the House.
(1) That there should be a full implementation of the Law passed by the Abia State House of Assembly on Anti-Grazing by all the security agencies in the State.
(2) Calling on all the security agencies to implement the Law passed by the House.
(3) To call on all Traditional Rulers in the State to gather information and supply same to security agencies.
NOTICE OF PRESENTATION OF BILL.
(1) H.A.B 24: The Abia State Industrial Cluster Establishment Bill, 2020.( A Bill For a Law to Establish the Industrial Clusters in the Three Senatorial Districts of Abia State and for other Matters Connected thereto).
The House Passed the Bill into First Reading.
The House dissolved into Oversight Plenary for the Purposes of screening the nominees forwarded by the Governor.
The Sergeant-At-Arms ushered in the first Commissioner Nominee, Mr Tony Nwamuo, who told the Lawmakers that he hails from Ukwa East State Constituency of Abia State.
The Nominee in his response to a
question posed by the Lawmakers said part of his duty would be to forward a proposal on how Abia can recycle waste in the State.
“I will also look at the area of our markets, given the fact of what we call climate change, you will find out that when you go to a market like Ariaria, traders are using Generators which is not good for their system, as a way of proposal, I will come up with means on how we can achieve renewable energy.
“If we install solar system in the markets, the shop owners will pay a token for it to the Government.
“It is better we consider this renewable energy as an alternative source of income”, he said.
On the discrepancies in his names, the Commissioner Nominee said all the names he swore to in affidavit belong to him.
After series of explanations, the nominee was ushered out by the Sergeant-At-Arms.
“My humble advice to you is to take a look at the documents you submitted here for future purposes” the Speaker advised the nominee.
The Sergeant-At-Arms ushered in the second Commissioner Nominee, Mr Godswill Nwonoruo.
The Speaker asked the Commissioner Nominee to identify his Representative which he did be pointing at the Lawmaker Representing Osisioma South State Constituency Hon.Nnamdi Allen.
Rising to introduce him, the Lawmaker representing his constituency said thus:
“Mr Speaker, I’m afraid I do not have the mandate of the people of Osisioma Ngwa South State Constituency for the Abia State House of Assembly to commence the screening of the nominee”, Hon Allen Nwachukwu said.
The Speaker said the Abia State House of Assembly was aware of the reasons behind the step taken by the people on the nominee.
“Here it is customary that your member must give us the greenlight to continue with your screening.
“We are giving you one week to go and sort out what the issue is with your Representative here and your people”, the Speaker advised.
The nominee was therefore asked to exit the Chambers.
The Sergeant-At-Arms ushered in the next nominee, Barr Eze Chikamanayo, Transition Committee Chairman nominee for Umunneochi Local Government Area.
The Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly asked the Nominee to introduce himself which he did, his Immediate Representative Hon Okey IGWE who was not Present during Plenary ,however detailed the Lawmaker Representing Umuahia South State Constituency Hon.Bart Jerry Uzosike to present the Nominee for Screening.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt.Hon Ifeanyi Uchendu in his question to the nominee asked whether there was any legal backing on the attachment of “David”in the Nominee’s name since some of his documents bear just Eze Chikamnayo without the David.
The Nominee said David has been there as his name for so many Years.
The Lawmaker Representing Bende North State Constituency Hon.Chukwu Chijioke sort the explanations of the Nominee over some of Open Letters he has Published against the Governor and the Speaker.
In his Defence, the Nominee said…
“Rt Hon Engr Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji is my Leader. Whether he is competent to preside over my screening, the answer is YES. I will prefer him to any other person.
“At no time did I question his competence, he is more than competent”, he said.
In response to a question, the nominee denied that he was ever rusticated at the Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU).
The Member representing Isialangwa South State Constituency, Rt. Hon.Chikwendu Kalu, asked the nominee how he will bring his experience to bear in Umunneochi as a Serial Public Servant, the Nominee said he will definitely make his years in public service count positively for the people of umunneochi if he assumes office.
Hon Ginger Onwusibe, member Representing Isialangwa North State Constituency observed that there was no NYSC Certificate in the Curriculum Vitae presented by the nominee.
The nominee said he applied for his NYSC certificate but that the Coronavirus pandemic has delayed its processing till date.
Hon Ginger Onwusibe further asked the nominee if he ever wrote any Open Letter to the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, where he (the nominee) made serious allegations against the Governor.
The Lawmaker presented an evidence of one of the open letters containing the allegations the nominee wrote against the Governor.
“I don’t know the conscience you had, a man that you have embarrassed openly, you want to serve under him?”, the Lawmaker queried.
The nominee in his response said he could not remember the particular words he used in his Open Letters against the Governor, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, his Wife and the Government of Abia State.
The Speaker asked the nominee if he ever apologized to the Governor over such Open Letters.
“Even if am a prodigal son, I became a son before becoming prodigal”, the nominee responded.
Hon Barr Emeka Okoroafor, member representing Isuikwuato State Constituency in his submission said if the nominee was allowed to scale through the Abia State House of Assembly screening, he might still not change his ways.
“If I was in your shoes, I would have rejected the nomination in the first place”, he thundered.
“Were you nominated in order for you to shut your mouth in all the allegations you have raised” the lawmaker asked.
The Nominee answered, NO.
The Leader of the House, Hon Solomon Akpulonu, read out another one of the Open Letters written by the nominee making another round of allegations against the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, The Speaker, Rt. Hon.Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji and Senator Theodore Orji.
The nominee, Barr Eze Chikamanayo, said he may need to check back on his record to ascertain if the allegations he made against the trio were true.
“These allegations that you have made, did you verify them to be correct before putting them in public domain? The Leader asked.
“I did not authenticate them, I have not investigated them” Chikamnayo responded.
The Transition Committee Chairman nominee however said he will never disrespect the Abia State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt.Hon.Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, as according to him, the House is a respected institution.
The Member representing Aba South State Constituency, Hon. Obinna Ichita, said the nominee was not stable in his submissions before the Honourable Lawmakers of the Abia State House of Assembly.
“Is it not a mark of you not being stable when you write something in public, you come in private to say another thing?” Honourable Ichita queried.
In his response, the nominee said there were prevailing circumstances that made him to make such statements in his open letters.
“I did not write in isolation, I hold the Speaker in high esteem”, he said.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, pleaded with the Lawmakers not to go emotional with the matter. He reminded his Honourable Colleagues that the screening exercise was a business of the House and that no one should be personal about it.
The Speaker in his question to the nominee asked why he didn’t reach him to get his own side of the story before going public with his Open Letter. On the nominee’s statement that he didn’t act in isolation, the nominee said he was prompted to attack the Speaker over what he saw in materials being circulated.
The Speaker in his summary said what has happened today is the irony of life.
“If somebody had told you one month ago, that you will be standing before the man you so maligned for your l screening, you wouldn’t have believed it, but that is the irony of life”, the Speaker said.
The House later confirmed the nomination of Barr Tony Nwamuo and Rejected the Nomination of Barr Eze Chikamanayo.
The House subsequently adjourned sitting till 24th of August, 2020, at 10am.
*Media Unit, Office of the Rt.Hon Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly*