Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday locked out Journalists who went to cover their proceeding during the sitting saying they are not important.
Journalists were at the assembly yesterday to cover the proceeding but were turned back by the security agents just as the main entrance to the gallery was locked during sitting.
The security men at the main entrance, disclosed to newsmen that the directive was from the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole who said Journalists are not important, adding that the Speaker threatened to issue him query if he violated the directive.
The assembly had invited the Head of Service, Mrs. Hana Kehinde Lawal, State Accountant General, Mallam Momoh Jubril, Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Debora Oshatimehen and the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Idris Asiru to appear before it yesterday to account for the non-payment of workers and pensioners for the past 20 months.
On Wednesday, the same Speaker ordered the security agents not to allow any journalists to cover the proceeding.
However, a senior Director at the assembly who tried to intervene pleaded with the journalists and offered to meet with the sergeant-at-arm on their behalf, but was shunned as he insisted that the order was that nobody should be allowed inside during the sitting.
All efforts to make the officer see reason and allow the journalists to enter were rebuffed, claiming he was acting on “order from above.”
However, when one of the journalists tried to speak with the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Speaker, Femi Olugbemi, for his intervention, calls put through on his mobile phone were not answered.
Some newsmen that were at the assembly on Wednesday were also turned back and prevented from gaining entrance into the gallery.
Some few weeks ago, hoodlums had free access to the assembly without being checked when they invaded the complex prior to the change of leadership in the house.
On the same day, the crew of Silverbird Television was chased out by the lawmakers following the observation raised by the then deputy majority leader, Hassan Abdullahi from Ajaokuta state constituency, while the Correspondent of Daily Times was manhandled by the thugs.
Idris Ahmed, Lokoja