The leader of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus and the member representing Obingwa East State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly (ABHA), Hon. Solomon Akpulonu, has described his suspension by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa during Tuesday’s plenary, as an attempt to intimidate him and his party in the house.

The longest serving Lawmaker in the House was suspended on Tuesday for 14 days on accusations of inciting other members against the leadership of the 8th Abia Assembly and granting of press interviews without proper clearance from the leadership of the House.

Addressing newsmen on the development, in Umuahia, Hon. Akpulonu, noted that he cannot be intimidated as the leader of the opposition party in the state by anyone including the Speaker.

The Abia lawmaker maintained that he is not perturbed by his suspension as he has repeatedly stated that what the Speaker and the Labour Party is doing in the State Assembly is completely wrong, stressing that there is no way a party (PDP) with majority members of 11 would overnight become minority in the House where Labour Party (LP) has 10 members, Young Progressive Party (YPP) has two members and All Progressive Congress (APC) one.

In his words: “I can never be intimidated for my insistence on the right thing to be done in the 8th Abia Assembly”.

The legal luminary further disclosed that having served under former governors of Abia State; Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator T.A Orji, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and now Gov. Alex Otti, he knows his rights and can never be bullied by anyone.

On his next line of action, the experienced lawmaker declined comments, adding he would officially inform his party (PDP), on the development.

Hon. Akpulonu said it is unfortunate that the Speaker has started on a wrong side, emphasizing that in the House of Assembly, a lawmaker or party has the right to agitate provided it is within the ambits of the law, stressing that he and other PDP members have been agitating peacefully and have not criticised any policy of the current administration rather than call for the rights of PDP to be respected.

On the allegations that he has faced the press without proper clearance, Hon. Akpulonu, said the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Okezie Augustine, members of the Labour Party (LP), some members of the PDP too have all faced the press without getting clearance from the House, insisting that his suspension was an attempt to intimidate him, and silence PDP in the state.

Recall that the 11 PDP member in the 8th Abia Assembly, have staged several peaceful walkouts; protesting that the majority leadership positions remain their right as the party with the highest number of members as enshrined in their House Rules.

PDP had conceded the speakership and deputy speakership seats of the House to Labour Party who are 10 in number, and demanded that Majority Leadership Positions (Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Chief Whip, and Deputy Chief Whip) be given to them but the leadership of House went ahead to announce member representing Arochukwu state Constituency, Hon. Okoro Uchenna as the majority of the House among others which had further unsettled PDP members in the House.

Recall again, that the Speaker of the House, has also failed to read out the PDP letter nominating her members for majority leadership positions, which also led to another peaceful protest during their last plenary on 11th of July 2023.

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