Kogi Assembly withdraws summons of activist

Kogi Governor, Idris Wada

The activist had criticised the lawmakers.

Following widespread public outcry, the Kogi State House of Assembly has withdrawn its summon of human rights activist, Idris Abdul.

The lawmakers had asked Mr. Abdul to appear before them to explain some remarks he made in an interview he granted PUBLIC MAGAZINE, a news magazine over the N20 billion loan obtained by the state government.

A statement from Mr. Abdul sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday said the House of Assembly had in its sitting on Tuesday, August 27, withdrawn the invitation of both Mr. Abdul and Ade Bada, the publisher of the magazine.

The statement said the House’ decision followed the public debate in and out of Kogi State, particularly among the media and human rights community and the intervention of the chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists,Kogi State chapter, Ali Atabor, and other stakeholders.

“After consultations and in the interest of peace, as this issue is not about individuals involved but is rather an issue of humanity that is at stake and the freedom of expression that we all cherish, I have accepted the withdrawal as contained in the motion moved on the floor of the assembly unconditionally,” Mr. Abdul said in the release.

He thanked his colleagues in the human rights community, the media practitioners in and out of Kogi State, and the general public for their show of solidarity.

“However, I wish to reassure the general public, the media and the human rights community, that the ideal that brought this unfortunate development is about the sanctity of human dignity, respect for rule of law, upholding transparency in governance, freedom to hold opinion and ideas, which is guaranteed in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria and other relevant international conventions, shall be maintained and sustained in our collective responsibility in making our society better,” he said.

In the interview, Mr. Abdul criticised the House of Assembly and the Kogi State Government for the manner in which a loan of N20 billion was obtained “under suspicious circumstances”.

He also questioned the manner in which a bill was sent to the House and hurriedly passed on June 27 and signed into law on July 12 without adequate consultation by the executive.

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