The Senate yesterday directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Solomon Arase, to seal off the Kogi State House of Assembly complex until the crisis in the Assembly is resolved, just as it took over the legislative duties of the Assembly.
The upper legislative chamber also declared null and void, the impeachment proceedings embarked upon by five members of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
It also condemned the role played by the police in providing cover for only five members out of 20 members of the Kogi Assembly to commit what it described as “illegalities.”
The Senate further concurred with the resolutions of the House of Representatives which had ordered the takeover of the Kogi Assembly over illegal removal of its speaker.
The Senate noted that it was “invoking the powers conferred on it by section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution to take over the legislative functions of the state House of Assembly pending the resolution of normalcy in the Assembly.”
It further noted that the action was in view of the fact that the Kogi Assembly cannot perform its legislative functions due to intractable crises and volatile security situation in the state.
Following disagreement among the 20 members of the Kogi Assembly, the House of Representatives recently sent a fact finding delegation to ascertain the true situation on the illegal removal of the speaker of the State Assembly.
Part of the resolutions in the report of that delegation revealed that the Kogi Assembly has not been able to perform its legislative functions as a result of the lingering crisis rocking the House as confirmed by all the stakeholders in the state.
The report also showed that the Kogi Assembly has been under lock and key since the suspension of plenary on February 15, 2016, as none of the factions has held any meeting in the hallowed chamber. It also said that there is palpable tension and apprehension, and possible security breach which could lead to further distrust and breakdown of law and order. And the division of the Kogi Assembly cuts across party line and it’s prone to insecurity.
While the Senate was considering the report of the House of Representatives, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West, APC), attempted to persuade his colleagues against taking over his state House of Assembly, arguing that the matter was still undergoing a judicial process.
But his submission was over ruled by the Senate President Bukola Saraki, who reminded him that the matter being discussed in Senate was not as a result of any petition on the Kogi State legislature but the debate was on a report from the findings of the House of Representatives’ delegation that visited Kogi State.
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