A senator of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Barau Jibrin (Kano North), has said he is tired of the ongoing crisis in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
He said this on Wednesday while reacting to a point of order raised by Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North East).
Mr Akpan had stood up to update the Senate on the crisis in the state House of Assembly.
“Just yesterday, at about 6 a.m, a contingent of over a hundred mobile policemen led the five suspended members of the Akwa-Ibom State House Assembly into the chambers of the Assembly. It is on record that none of the 21 authentic members or staff of the Assembly were allowed into the premises,” Mr Akpan said.
“I saw it myself, I was there with the Governor and I can authoritatively say that the recently posted Commissioner of Police to Akwa-Ibom led that operation….”
At this point, he was interrupted by Mr Jibrin who came under Order 53(5) of the Senate Standing Rule and stated that it was improper to bring the matter to the floor of the Senate.
The rule states that “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which the judicial decision is pending in such a way that as might, in the opinion of the Senate, prejudice the interest of parties.”
In Mr Jibrin’s words: “This matter is before a court of law and I think it is quite improper to bring such matter to the floor of the Senate.
“And a committee has also been mandated to look at this matter. We are tired of this issue of Akwa Ibom. Yesterday its Akwa Ibom, last week is Akwa Ibom, today is Akwa Ibom.”
The chamber became noisy after his comment.
“We are all believers of true federalism. In fact, the PDP is planning to bring about restructuring which will bring about true federalism in this country. For us to be getting involved in matters that affect the state is improper,” Mr Jibrin continued.
He was, however, overruled by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who insisted that the Senate must speak against attacks on the parliament wherever it occurs.
“The most important aspect is to defend democracy. We were here when there was an invasion in the parliament. Wherever there is an invasion, irrespective of location, we must stand and say what is right,” he said.
He thereafter urged Mr Akpan to go ahead and update the Senate on the happenings in the state.
“Just yesterday, the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly moved a motion, a general consensus that the Commissioner of Police must vacate Akwa-Ibom in 24 hours. We do not need the Commissioner of Police, he is not there to maintain peace and order, he is there to cause chaos and mayhem in line with the plans and programmes of the APC in Akwa-Ibom state,” Mr Akpan stated.
He then raised pictures related to the incident after which the Senate mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to submit a report on the incident within 48 hours.
The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly was again thrown into turmoil on Tuesday as a faction made up of five APC lawmakers clashed with those loyal to Onofiok Luke, the Speaker, at the assembly premises.
The APC lawmakers, Tuesday morning, made their way into the House chambers where they quickly held their ‘sitting’ and passed a “resolution” suspending 11 lawmakers.
A car was reportedly set ablaze during the fracas.
The five lawmakers, last week, announced the “removal” of Mr Luke after their seats were declared vacant for defecting from the PDP to the APC.
The crisis snowballed into the shutting down of the assembly by the police in the state which later vacated the premises on Friday.
Last week, the Senate resolved to investigate the crisis after Albert Bassey, a PDP senator from the state, raised a point of order during plenary.
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