The Enugu State Commissioner for Poverty Reduction, Godwin Ogenyi, was on Tuesday arrested for failing to appear before the state assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner’s arrest was on the orders of the Speaker of the assembly, Eugene Odo.
Mr. Odo gave the order for the arrest while members of the assembly were deliberating on the commissioner’s absence during its plenary session.
The speaker expressed surprise that the commissioner, said to be in the premises, disappeared when he was asked to come into the chamber.
He said the commissioner did not commit any offence and was invited for a friendly discussion.
According to him, the commissioner was invited to explain to what extent the state government had provided palliative measures for commercial motorcyclists following the ban on their operation in the state capital.
Contributing to the debate on what should be done to the commissioner, Okey Nwoke (PDP-Igboetiti West) said it was a surprise that he absconded without excuse.
“This is tantamount to holding the assembly to ransom. I wish the house will raise contempt if the commissioner did not give cogent reason for his action,’’ Nwoke said.
Dame Nkechi Omeje-Ogbu (PDP-Nsukka West) pleaded that the commissioner be given time to appear as he was on his way to the assembly.
When contacted, the Enugu State police spokesman, Mr Ebere Amarizu, said he was yet to be briefed about the arrest.
In another development, the speaker read a message from the Acting Governor of the state, Mr Sunday Onyebuchi, informing the assembly that he would present the state’s 2013 appropriation bill to the members on Friday.
Also the assembly received the report of its committee on transport on the alleged harassment and intimidation of members of the Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association by members of the NURTW.
Iloabuchi Aniagu, the Chairman of the committee, advised the self employed drivers to seek for a private park like other transport companies through the relevant government agencies.
He noted that in neighbouring states, the NURTW was the only recognised and permitted union to manage government parks as it is applicable to Enugu State.
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