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Kogi crisis: Reps summon Bello, Buratai


The House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi and the Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai sequel to the deployment of armed military men to the state assembly.

This followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Rep. Chukwuemeka Ujam (Enugu-PDP) which was unanimously adopted.

Ujam had said that on May 31, masked armed men invaded the Kogi House of Assembly premises, shot into the air in an attempt to intimidate members from carrying out their legislative functions alleging that the armed military men were in company of the security details and escort of the governor.

The lawmaker expressed worry that the governor in defiance of the resolution of the National Assembly continued to patronise a group of five assembly members and has forwarded the list of commissioners, special advisers’ nominees and the Appropriation Bill to them for approval.

Ujam expressed concern that if the impunity was allowed to continue, the crisis rocking the assembly may result into anarchy and breach of security as well as threat to lives and property.

Contributing, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC) urged the House to seek judicial interpretation to the situation saying the development was a clear violation of the resolution of the House.

His words: “It is time for the House to seek judicial interpretation of the constitution as regards the matter. The governor has no right to deploy the military to the State Assembly, so the question arises as to who deployed the military”.

He pointed out that it was the responsibility of the Police to ensure law and order in the society, saying: “If we allow any governor to get away with this, then the House can never invoke the section of the constitution which empowers it to summon people when the need arises.

“We should investigate who gave him the power to deploy military personnel to Kogi State Assembly,’’ he added.

Similarly, Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor (Delta-PDP) said the development was confrontational to the powers of the National assembly, stating that if allowed, the situation may lead to anarchy in the state.

His words: “I lay blame on the Attorney-General of the Federation for directing that the Kogi State Assembly be opened even when the National Assembly took over the State Assembly activities because of the crisis. It is a clear violation of Section 121 of the constitution where only five people out of 21 members will sit down and claim to impeach the Speaker.

“This is confrontation on the powers of the National Assembly. The Committee on Judiciary should summon the governor to appear before it for proper explanations”, Ogor added.

Also contributing, Rep. Igariwey Iduma (Ebonyi-PDP) said that the involvement of the military in civil matters was capable of destabilising the country noting that it was unconstitutional to bring the military into the country’s political space as this was capable of destabilising the country, stressing: “There is no reason whatsoever to bring in the military into happenings in state assembly”.
The House in adopting the motion directed all parties in the dispute to refrain from further actions or seating till the National Assembly vacates its earlier resolution to take over the functions of the state assembly. (NAN)

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