The purported plans by some members of the House of Representatives to remove the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha because his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has lost the majority status in the Green Chambers of the National Assembly has been debunked by Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Mr. Victor Ogene.
The PDP had following a recent mass defection of 37 of its aggrieved members before the House went on Christmas and New Year break, lost its majority status to the opposition All Progressives Congress.
But Rep. Ogene in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday described the report as “a deliberate attempt to cause crisis in the House as it prepares to resume”.
He cited the House rules and the constitution which clearly spells out how the deputy speaker maybe removed from office saying, he “can only be removed in the event of his resignation, impeachment or death and not due to a change of majority party in the House”.
The deputy spokesman of the House added that Ihedioha may not defect to the APC even if his boss, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, decided to join the opposition camp as currently being speculated.
Ogene said, “It would not be an unusual scenario as it had happened in the past that a presiding officer and his deputy belonged to different parties.
“Resignation, death or impeachment are the only ways that a vacancy can occur in the office of the speaker or deputy or indeed, any other principal officer’s position.
“However, Order 7 (2) of the House Rules states that while those of the majority leadership come from the party with majority members, the minority parties nominate from among themselves, minority leader, minority whip, deputy minority leader and deputy minority whip.
“But for presiding officers like the speaker and deputy, for a vacancy to occur thereof, the person has to resign or be impeached and impeachment requires two-third of members which is 240 members”
Ogene maintained that the report that the deputy speaker “will be removed when we resume is the handiwork of 5th columnists trying to cause a crisis among members before resumption”.
“People should not forget that besides political affiliations, we all belong to a group called House Project which saw to the emergence of the current House leadership”, he said.