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Peace parley over plans to sack Imo Speaker ends in fracas

Efforts to broker peace among warring lawmakers following a plot to impeach the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, has ended in fiasco. The parley ended when one of the lawmakers supporting the Speaker, Hon. Samuel Otuibe allegedly attacked a female colleague and two other lawmakers with a wine bottle and a glass cup. Otuibe, representing Ahiazu Mbaise state constituency was said to have attacked the member representing Njaba State Constituency, Hon. Uju Onwudiwe whose only crime was rising up in defense of her fellow female lawmaker who was being shouted down by Otuibe while she was making her contribution in the parley. For cautioning him to stop trying to intimidate and shout down the member representing Isu state Constituency, Ngozi Obiefule, the Ahiazu Mbaise lawmaker lunged at Onwudiwe armed with a bottle.

A member representing Ohaji Egbema state constituency, Heclus Okoro, who had tried to protect the female lawmaker was reportedly stabbed in one of his fingers before his Orsu state Constituency counterpart, Ekene Nnodimele tried to restrain Otuibe.

The incident occurred Monday night at the official residence of the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu, whose birthday celebrations provided the forum to mediate in the crisis in the Assembly. The issues at stake were the grievances that led to the plot to impeach the speaker such as unpaid salaries and allowances of lawmakers and their aides amongst other issues and the alleged high handedness of the Speaker. It was learnt that no sooner had the meeting commenced than the lawmaker who was believed to be a loyalist of the speaker allegedly attacked Onwudiwe with a wine bottle and followed up with a glass cup. Onwudiwe was said have ducked the flying bottle, which smashed on the wall and gave Heclus Okoro, a deep cut in one of his fingers while the wine glass also smashed on the wall without injuring anyone.

Nnodimele was said to have rushed to stop Otuibe from allegedly doing further damages. Onwudiwe, who con-firmed the attack on her to journalists Wednesday, said that she only asked Otuibe to stop interrupting another female lawmaker, Ngozi Obiefule who had the floor during the meeting. Onwudiwe said: “Yes, it is true that I was assaulted by my colleague from Ahiazu Mbaise.

My colleague from Isu, Ngozi Obiefule, was speaking and he was hushing her. I only asked him to stop hushing her down and to allow her have her say and air her view on the matter. Immediately, Otuibe took a wine bottle to attack me and our colleague from Orsu blocked him. He threw the bottle at me. I ducked and it smashed Hon Heclus Okoro’s finger. As I Speak to you now the affected finger has been stitched.

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