Reps summon Bello, Buratai over Kogi Assembly crisis

Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T. Y. Buratai

Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T. Y. Buratai

The House of Representatives yesterday summoned Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, before its adhoc committee on the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly.

As part of efforts to unraveled the protracted feud, the upper house also summoned the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, as well as the Brigade Commander of the Nigerian Army, in Lokoja, to explain why soldiers were involved in alleged breach of security at the assembly complex on May 31, 2016.

Adopting the prayers of a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Chukwuemeka Ujam (PDP-Enugu), it condemned the governor’s actions and that of officers of the Nigerian Army, in allegedly frustrating the judgment of a Federal High Court; Abuja delivered on May 19, 2016.

The court had nullified the purported impeachment of the Speaker of the assembly, Momoh Jimoh and reinstated him alongside 14 members who were axed with him.

But the governor, in defiance of the judgment has been patronising the group of five members by providing it security and funding its illegal sitting.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers also directed parties to the dispute to refrain from any further action or sitting, till the National Assembly vacates its earlier order taking over the functions of the assembly.

Leading debates on the motion, Ujam had informed the lawmakers that masked and armed military men reportedly invaded the assembly’s residential quarters on the said date, shooting into the air and causing pandemonium.

This action, he said, was in an attempt to either assassinate the G15 members or intimidate them from carrying out their legislative functions.

He further alleged that the military men were officers of the Nigerian Army, led by one Capt Usman from Nigerian Army Records Lokoja, in company of the security details and escorts of the governor.

“The armed military men allegedly went to the assembly complex and displaced the men of the Nigerian Police who were stationed to maintain law and order, while taking over the complex in the process,” he said.

He reiterated that the soldiers later led the group of five to the assembly complex for legislative business, in defiance of the subsisting resolution of the National Assembly and in disregard of the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja

Ujam added that, “During one of their recent sittings, the group of five passed the 2016 appropriation bill and also the list of commissioners and special advisers, which were forwarded to them for approval.”

He warned that, “If this impunity is allowed to continue, the crisis rocking the assembly may result into anarchy and breach of security of lives and property in the state.

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