Apparently scarred of alleged impeachment plot against Governor Fayose, the Ekiti State House of Assembly, has raised the alarm over alleged deployment of heavily armed policemen to the premises of the House without official request.
But when journalists visited the Assembly at about 10am, the policemen have been withdrawn and the premises was under lock and key.
The Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon Kola Oluwawole, who briefed newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Thursday , said the anti-riot policemen were deployed at about 9pm on Wednesday.
Oluwawole, who addressed newsmen in company of 17 other members accused members who defected to the APC prior to the July 14 governorship election as responsible for the act.
The Speaker said one of the defected lawmakers allegedly forged a letter purportedly written by the Clerk, Mr. Tola Esan and addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, Mr. Bello Ahmed , calling for deployment when such was unwarranted.
The former PDP lawmakers; Hon Gboyega Aribisogan, Sunday Akinniyi and Ebenezer Alagbada, defected to the APC owing to irreconcilable differences with Governor Fayose.
Oluwawole alerted the public to the antics of the opposition and their alleged resolve to cause confusion in the Assembly, saying there is no legislative duty in the assembly until members resume from recess on October 8, 2018.
The Speaker ordered indefinite closure of the House pending the time security of lawmakers and staff of the hallowed chamber can bemguaranteed.
Oluwawole said the Assembly in a letter dated July 26 and addressed to the CP, had lodged complaint of forgery against Hon Aribisogan, and his call for illicit deployment of policemen in the assembly, describing the action as not only shocking but a travesty in the country’s democratic history.
He said the Clerk of the House, Mr. Tola Esan , had on July 26 written similar letter, dissociating himself from the letter purportedly written by him requesting police cover at the Assembly, urging the police authority to conduct unfettered investigations into the issue and bring the culprits to justice.
The Speaker said: “This is strange in democracy, for lawmakers to wake up and see unathorised police deployment in the legislative arm of government.
On Wednesday at about 9pm, police authority deployed two detachments of heavily armed policemen to the premises of the Assembly.
This came to us as a shock , because we are in recess and such action was unwarranted.
“The Assembly and the Clerk had reacted to a letter purportedly written by the latter calling for police deployment. We have told police authority in clear terms that such document should be treated like a forged document, because the Clerk could not have written any official letter without consulting with me, he worked closely with my office as a Speaker.
“Before now, we had it on good authority that police were planning to provide cover for the three defected lawmakers to perpetrate violence in the Assembly and cause confusion as well as endanger the lives of our staff.
“As we speak, the lives of our people are no longer safe, because the police and APC thugs have laid siege to Ekiti Assembly and under this circumstance, our staff are no longer safe and we declare indefinite closure of the Assembly pending the time security can be guaranteed.
“We have not recovered from the harassment and abduction of our members by police during the July 14 election. But let me say expressly that such strange police deployment was unsolicited, unwarranted and ultra vires “, he added.
Lending credence to the Speaker’s position, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon. Samuel Omotoso, said 23 members of the Assembly are behind the Speaker and Governor Fayose.
“As you can see, we have 23 members of the PDP out of 26 solidly behind the Speaker and our governor. We hereby pass votes of confidence in their leaderships. We remain unshaken in our resolve to protect democracy.
“You can see that 18 of us are here, but the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Sina Animasaun and Hon. Dada Celilcia, are in Lagos on official
assignments, while Hon Titi Owolabi has just lost her husband, Hon Ojo Ade Fajana is out of the country and Hon Tope Fasanmi traveled with the governor to Abuja, so we are united and strong”.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu when contacted on the telephone, the Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, said there was nothing wrong with the deployment, saying “anytime you see the deployment of policemen it is to ensure the safety and the security of that place and the people there.”
Ikechukwu said there was no need for people to be curious about the deployment of security men in the quest to ensure the security of lives and properties, except for those who have some form of crime to hide.
He said, “Anytime you see us doing deployment, it’s for a reason; it’s to ensure safety of that place at a given time. That means there must be information which we are working with. And what that shows is how proactive the Nigeria Police Force is.”