The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chiji Collins, has defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The lawmakers announced their defection as the House resumed sitting after a one-week break.
The speaker, representing Isiala Mbano state constituency, under the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) later dumped the party for PDP to enable him emerge as a speaker after the position was zoned to Okigwe.
His defection to APC, according to political watchers, is to enable him retain the position in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the Emeka Ihedioha-led PDP government and installed Hope Uzodinma of APC.
The speaker announced his defection and that of his seven other colleagues during a plenary on Tuesday.
The plenary which lasted for 15 minutes was adjourned after the speaker announced his name and the names of other defecting lawmakers.
Those who joined the speaker were Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru); Dominic Ezerioha (Oru west); Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East); Kanayo Onyemaechi (Owerri west); Kennedy Ibe (Obowo); and Onyemaechi Njoku (Ihitte /Uboma); while Eddy Obinna (Aboh Mbaise) equally defected. Obinna represents Emeka Ihedioha’s local government.
With the defections, APC now has two-third majority of 18 lawmakers with PDP having eight in the state assembly.
Uju Onwudiwe (Njaba) who was declared the winner of the supplementary election held last Saturday on Action Alliance (AA) platform is yet to be inaugurated by the speaker. This might have prevented her from equally toeing the same line.
After announcing their defection, the house adjourned sitting to Thursday.