By Ayo Kehinde
Five out of the eight Imo lawmakers elected on the platform of the Action Alliance, AA, today, Monday, defected from the party to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thus abandoning the former governor and embattled Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial District, Rochas Okorocha and his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu who ran for governorship on the party’s ticket as directed by the ex-governor. They were joined in their defection by another lawmaker from the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.
This is coming few days to the inauguration of the Assembly on June 10. The defectors addressed their defection in a letter they sent to the Speaker of the Assembly, which was read by the clerk of the House during plenary.
The AA lawmakers who defected to the PDP were Mike Iheanaetu (Aboh Mbaise), Victor Onyewuchi (Owerri West), Ken Agbim (Ahiazu Mbaise) Lloyd Chukwuemeka (Owerri North) and Bruno Ukoha (Ezinihittte Mbaise). Chiji Collins (Isiala Mbano) defected from APGA to PDP.
In a signed document the defectors stated no reason but their names and signatures. One of them is said to have developed cold feet at the last minute and had his name was stuck out in ink.
The signed paper is presented below:
The defection is seen as more trouble for Okoroacha who is yet to be given a Certificate of Return by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, as a punishment for the alleged fraud surrounding his victory, may have to wait in political limbo as officials of the Commission are yet to decide on his CoR following a recent directive by an Abuja Federal High Court.
The Commission had said it would meet over the ruling in the face of a preceding Imo High Court order stopping the INEC from giving him the CoR.
There is a probability that he may not witness the formal inauguration of the National Assembly as a member on June 11, if the electoral umpire chooses to hold on to his Certificate as no court of higher jurisdiction has made a different pronouncement on his matter. Meanwhile, he has been suspended by his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC , for anti-party activity, for sponsoring and campaigning for his son-in-law on the platform of AA during the 2019 general election.