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Police seal off Kogi House of Assembly complex

30/03/2016 16:17

The crisis  rocking  the Kogi  State  House of Assembly assumed a new dimension on March 29, 2016 when the complex was  sealed off by security agents.


It follows failure of the Assembly to resolve the leadership crisis that has bedeviled  it in the last three months.


The main entrance to the assembly complex has been taken over by heavily armed policemen who prevented members who were billed to conduct budget defence from accessing the complex.


The road leading to the complex was also barricaded by armed policemen who subjected staff of the assembly to scrutiny and only allowed them in upon confirmation of their employment status through their Identity Cards.


The security agents claimed  to be acting based on instructions from the Commissioner of Police following a directive from the Force Headquarters in Abuja.


Speaking on the seal-off, Mr Aliyu Akuh, deputy to the embattled speaker Momoh-Jimoh Lawal said the crisis remained unresolved as earlier directive to return to status quo ante by the House of Representatives was ignored by the five members.


He said it was an aberration for five out of the then 20 members of the assembly to impeach the speaker on whom the remaining 15 members had passed a vote of confidence in his leadership.


Akuh said that the 15 members considered the action of the minority five members as an infringement on the constitution of the country adding that in a good democratic setting such infringements must be challenged.


“What happened with five members seeking to impeach a speaker in a house of 20 members is an aberration, unheard of and more so that some members’ names and signatures were forged and included as being part of them.


“We had to go to the higher authority which is the National Assembly vested with the constitutional powers to intervene in such situations. The House of Representatives ordered the seal-off and it was concurred by the Senate,” he said.


On the position of the law with the suit filed by the five members at the Federal High Court, Lokoja challenging the intervention of the National Assembly on the impasse, Akuh said there was no injunction or court order restraining the National Assembly.


The factional speaker, Alhaji Umar Imam described the seal-off as illegal saying that for the National Assembly to have gone ahead to seal-off the assembly in spite of the fact that the matter was pending in court smacked of illegality.


Imam who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Ali said the action of the National Assembly was aimed at stunting the growth of the state as all legislative businesses especially the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill would be affected.

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