Ebonyi State House of Assembly has declared vacant the Onicha East State Constituency Seat occupied by the Deputy Speaker, Odefa Obasi Odefa.
This was after an alleged resignation letter written by Mr Odefa which was read by the Speaker, Hon Francis Nwifuru, during plenary on Monday.
After reading the purported resignation letter of Mr Odefa, Mr Nwifuru declared his seat vacant.
A total of 15 lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress attended the plenary.
Two other letters purportedly written by Hon Oliver Osi representing Ivo State Constituency and Hon Lilian Ezilo representing Afikpo North East State Constituency, notifying the house that he had defected to the APC were also read by the speaker.
The two lawmakers who are of the People’s Democratic Party were not present during the plenary, and Mr Osi when contacted said, he never authored any letter.
Following the declaration of Mr Odefa’s seat vacant, the 15 APC lawmakers, elected the member representing Afikpo North-West constituency, Hon Kingsley Ikoro as the new Deputy Speaker, following a motion moved the member representing Ohaozara West constituency, Hon Onu Nwoye and seconded by Hon Anthony Nwegede of Izzi East constituency.
Hon Onu Nwonye, the member representing Ohaozara West Constituency was made the deputy leader following a letter from the leadership of the APC in the State.
Ikoro, who was Deputy Leader of the Assembly before his election by the 15 Lawmakers, in an interview with journalists said,“it is an opportunity to serve. Politics is all about the people because the mandate you are holding is the mandate of the people, you are just a trustee of the people’s mandate. So, any opportunity to serve the people is highly welcomed”.
Odefa had on Saturday reaffirmed his membership of the PDP in a press briefing he held in his Abakaliki residence.
Reacting to the declaration of his seat vacant, Mr Odefa,who was flanked by some of his colleagues of the PDP, said he did not author any letter of resignation as a member of the state House of Assembly and vowed to sue the Speaker for what he described as forgery.
He maintained that he is still the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly describing his removal as waste of time, null and void.
“You don’t place something on nothing, it does not exist. They lack the powers to purport and forge letters and read on my behalf before my colleagues as purportedly written by me; that’s a serious crime if they don’t know.
“One thing they don’t know is that no member of the House of Assembly has immunity. In the constitution of this country, only the President, Vice President, Governor, Deputy Governor has immunity. No other person has immunity”, he said
Odefa further alleged threats to his life, his family members and political associates by agents of the Ebonyi State government.