Despite the public declaration of support for Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, 247 Ureports can authoritativelyreport that 12 out of the 27 lawmakers behind the Governor switched camp when it mattered most to impeach Rt. Hon. Otelemabama Amachree as speaker.
The register of proceedings in the House on the day lawmakers engaged in a free for all following the impeachment of Amachree shows the names of lawmakers, who participated in voting out the speaker, and those who did not vote against him.
Investigations revealed that the moment the leader of the House, Hon. Chidi Lloyd saw that the impeachment of Amaechree could pave way for the impeachment of Amaechi, he quickly left the House, and called the Governor, who came with a team of security operatives.
A source who witnessed the impeachment, said that the sergeant at arms was present when Amachree was impeached, but did not turn up when Amaechi forced his way into the House.
“There was an impeachment. The former speaker was impeached because 12 lwmkaers supporting Amaechi joined the five that were against him. And the way things went, things were moving smoothly in the House until Amaechi entered. This gave Lloyd the confidence to bounce on Chinda,,,” the source said.
That position is in line with that of Hon. Evans Bipi, who claims to be the new speaker. He spoke in Port Harcourt shortly before he travelled to London to visit Hon. Michael Chinda, who is recuperating at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital.
He said: “If we are five and a minority in a House of 32 as it is being alleged, then why did Governor Chibuike Amaechi run to court to seek the protection from being impeached?. So, the question is: can five in the House of 32 impeach a Speaker or a governor? We have the attendance list of the lawmakers that signed the impeachment of Dan-Amachree and it will be made public at the appropriate time.”
Bipi, who spoke shortly before leaving for London to visit Hon. Michael Chinda, who is recuperating at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital, also said he was ready to work with the Governor as speaker.
He said: “I am fully prepared to work with Governor Amaechi as the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly. Contrary to wide-spread views in the public domain, I have no intention to impeach Governor Amaechi before his tenure elapses, in May 29, 2015”, he said.
“I want you people to believe me: Dan-Amachree was truly impeached, after which, I was duly sworn in as the new Speaker, and I also formally made my inaugural speech as Speaker, sitting on the Speakers chair with the mace, the symbol of authority in my front. You can verify from the attendance list of all the legislators that were present in the chamber of the House on that Tuesday morning.
“I was formally led into the chamber of the House by the Sergeant –at-arm, carrying the mace, as it is the procedure with the conduct of official proceedings of the House of Assembly. If Dan-Amachree was not truly impeached, why did the then Leader of the House, Chidi Lloyd, run to the Government House, to alert Governor Amaechi, that we have taken over the leadership of the House?
“Lloyd ran to government house to appeal to the governor to come with his security aides to enable them chase us away, so that Dan-Amachree can hold a sitting before television cameras that will be aired to viewers, to counter our successful impeachment of the former speaker, earlier in the day”.