Imo State Assembly on Wednesday commenced an eight-week-long annual recess.

The assembly went on this break after approving a motion that stops lawmakers from presenting petitions without first going through the Committee on Business and Rules.

This means that the privilege accorded lawmakers to present motions during plenary without passing through the Committee on Rules and Business has effectively been withdrawn.

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Under the new arrangement, every lawmaker is required to first submit his petition to the Committee on Business and Rules for at least two days to plenary for vetting.

The bill was sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Amara Iwuanyanwu.

However, the assembly didn’t address the issues raised by the six suspended lawmakers at the assembly.

Recall that the House speaker, Paul Emezim, two weeks ago, suspended some members and dissolved the standing committee without proper consultation with others. The matter escalated into a ruckus that led to shots being fired in the complex. 

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The People’s Democratic Party has said the amendment of the house rule was part of desperate measures by the All Progressives Congress, to gag free speech.

This was contained in a statement issued by the State Publicity Secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike. He called on lovers of democracy to resist the move.

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