…As lawmakers reconvene at Govt. House, suspend former Speaker
Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Another drama played out at the Benue State House of Assembly, on Friday, after armed policemen took over the Assembly complex and barred members of the Assembly from gaining access to the facility.
The heavily-armed policemen also ordered staff of the Assembly who had resumed for work to leave the premises even as all offices within the complex were put under lock and keys.
Saturday Sun gathered that trouble started when the recently sacked Speaker of the House, Terkimbi Ikyange, came and barricaded the main entrance to the Assembly complex with his official vehicle and insisted that he was still the Speaker.
Following the development, other members who are mostly from the faction of the new speaker, Titus Uba (Kyaan Constituency), who came thereafter, were subjected to screening and still were not allowed access into the premises.
Our correspondent gathered that many of the legislators who scaled through the fence to gain access into the premises were prevented from entering into the Chambers of the Assembly.
After exploring all possible means to sit in the chambers of the Assembly without success, the Uba-led faction, thereafter, reconvened at the old Banquet Hall of the Government House to hold a plenary.
In a motion, Majority leader of the House, Hon. Avine Gbom moved for Ikyange’s suspension for six months for insubordination and for tarnishing the image of the House.
The motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Egli Johnson Ahubi (Otukpo/Akpa State Constituency).
Earlier, Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Audu Sule (Agatu State Constituency), had moved that the Commissioner of Police in the state should explain why his men besieged the Assembly complex.
The motion which was seconded by the Deputy Speaker also asked that the CP order his men to immediately vacate the Assembly premises.
In his contribution, the lawmaker representing Ukum State constituency, Hon. Paul Biam noted that he saw the former Speaker at the main gate of the Assembly complex with his official vehicle insisting that he was still the Speaker.
He stated further that the members had to sit at the Government House because they could not gain access to the chambers of the Assembly.
In his ruling, Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Uba suspended Ikyange for six months and adjourned sitting till August 21, 2018.
Saturday Sun observed that 19 lawmakers were physically present while another legislator sent a letter stating why he could not attend the Friday sitting.
Efforts to get the police to react was unsuccessful as Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni was, on Thursday, transferred out of Benue while the new helmsman was yet to resume as at the time of filing this report.
Spokesman of the command, DSP Moses Yamu, could not also be reached as was not available at the time of filing this report. (The Sun)