Reps divided over alleged amnesty to wanted persons by Imo govt

House of Reps
House of Reps

The House of Representatives on Tuesday had a rowdy session over the amnesty allegedly granted to wanted persons by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

This was prior to a motion co-sponsored by the Rivers State caucus of the House and presented by Betty Apiafi.

While the caucus condemned the amnesty allegedly granted to the wanted persons, it also called for their immediate arrest and prosecution.

Clearly not satisfied with the prayers of the motion, the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, alongside some APC lawmakers opposed the motion saying it was a state affair and the House lacked powers to deliberate on such.

Mr. Okorocha is of the APC while Rivers is governed by the opposition PDP.

“It will become a legislative overreach for us to attempt to settle a rift between two states,” Mr. Gbajabiamila said.

“Section 232 and 212 clearly states that issues of states jurisdiction lies in the Supreme Court whether it is of law or facts.”

The house leader also accused the mover of being partisan with the motion.

In disagreement with Mr. Gbajabiamila, Uzomma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) said Governor Okorocha had no powers to declare amnesty for a crime that was not committed in his state.

“For amnesty to be given, the crime has to be committed within a jurisdiction of the state.

“You cannot grant pardon for an offence commited in Rivers, in Imo.

He added that the constitutional provision in Section 212 that was cited by Mr. Gbajabiamila is not applicable in the case of Rivers.

“Rochas cannot grant amnesty for an offence commited by Boko Haram members in North-east in Imo State.”

Mr. Okorocha recently granted amnesty to some suspected cultists who allegedly operated in Rivers, an action which his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, vehemently opposed.

Mr. Wike said the amnesty declared by Mr. Okorocha, would have no impact in Rivers State and that the wanted cultists would be prosecuted in Rivers.

After several minutes of rowdy arguments between mostly members of rival political parties, the House speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who presided over the plenary said in order to guide the house properly, the motion should be referred to the committees on justice, ethics and privileges and national security and a report sent back in one week.

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