The Imo State House of Assembly, Lugard Osuji, his deputy, Kennedy Ibe and the Chief Whip, Marcel Odunze, were alleged to have been asked to resign their positions by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Daily Sun reports.
Meanwhile it was gathered that the resignation was connected to alleged roles in the botched 2018 proposed budget presentation by Governor Rochas Okorocha which was shunned by the legislators for alleged withholding of their constituency and other allowances by the state governor.
This was even as they were quickly replaced by those considered to be pro-speaker, namely Uche Oguwuike, APC (Ikeduru state constituency) as the new majority leader, Chinedu Offor, APC (Onuimo state constituency) replaces Kennedy Ibe, APC (Obowo state constituency) as the deputy majority leader while Arthur Egwim, APC (Ideato North) took over from Marcel Odunze, APC (Orlu) as the chief whip of the House. But, the Minority leader, Kenneth Agbim PDP (Ahiazu Mbaise) still holds his position.
Earlier, members of the House had gone to the speakers lodge at about 12 noon to inquire from him if the House plenary was no longer holding.
They also inquired if he was aware that a detachment of armed police, with three armoured personnel carriers, blocking the entrance of the Assembly to which the speaker replied in the negative.
When members later reconvened for plenary that lasted about 30 minutes, Osuji, Ibe and Odunze, tendered their resignations from their positions of majority leader, deputy majority and chief whip respectively on the floor of the House after they were informed that party has lost confidence in their ability to protect the interest of the party.
However, Osuji was subsequently suspended by the speaker for two weeks shortly after he had announced his resignation and a five-member committee set up to investigate his alleged anti-party activities.
The former majority leader had, in a motion last week, called for the suspension of the Clerk, Chris Duru, for allegedly sabotaging the Assembly. The motion was supported by 20 members except the speaker and five others.
It was equally learnt that the motion had not gone down well with the speaker and the governor who felt that the former majority leader was trying to incite members of the House against the speaker and the governor, as he was alleged to have been the brain behind the budget boycott.
However, one of the legislators, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said action of the party in forcing the majority leader and the others to resign was apparently to stave off his removal as the speaker.
He added that even the party and the governor knew that the speaker was an endangered specie and that if Osuji, Ibe and Odunze were to retain their current positions in the House, the position of the speaker would not be guaranteed.