The lawmaker representing Aba South Constituency, Emmanuel Emeruwa, has emerged as speaker of the Abia House of Assembly.
Mr Emeruwa, a member of the Labour Party (LP), was elected speaker by 24 members of the House during the inauguration session of the eighth assembly on Wednesday.
The session was presided over by the Clerk of the House, Johnpedro Irokansi, at the assembly chamber in Umuahia, according to a report by Vanguard newspaper.
Apart from the LP, the assembly has members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).
The PDP is the majority with 11 members, while the LP has ten members, the YPP has two members, and APC has only one member.
Mr Emeruwa was elected speaker despite being a first-term lawmaker in the House and whose party is not the majority in the house.
He was nominated for the position by the member representing Aba Central Constituency, Stephen Ucheonye and Seconded by the member representing Umuahia South Constituency, Emeka Obioma- all LP members.
Mandela Obasi, the member representing Ohafia North Constituency and a member of the PDP, attempted to make another nomination but was ignored by the Clerk of the House, Mr Irokansi, who banged the gavel for the close of nomination.
A crisis erupted during the deputy speaker’s election as the clerk ignored Solomon Akpulonu, another PDP lawmaker, who raised his hand to make a nomination.
Mr Akpulonu, the majority leader in the previous House, represents Obingwa East Constituency.
There was a rowdy session when the clerk and the member representing Ohafia North constituency, Mandela Obasi, engaged in an altercation for ignoring PDP members who wanted to make their nominations.
Mr Obasi, a member of the PDP, accused the clerk of bias, saying the clerk failed to conduct the election according to the rules by not allowing the PDP lawmakers to make nominations.
Another LP lawmaker, Uchenna Okoro, representing Arochukwu Constituency, would later nominate Augustine Mmerengi as the deputy speaker.
The ten lawmakers from the LP are all first-timers in the House, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.
Of the 11 members from the PDP, the majority party in the House, four members were returning lawmakers, this newspaper further learnt.
The provision of the standing rule of the House with respect to the emergence of a first-timer as the speaker and deputy speaker is not clear for now.
But a source says that the rule provides that only ranking members who have spent at least four years in the House can be elected as speaker and deputy speaker.