Senate orders police appearance over Akwa Ibom Assembly crisis

* Senate President Bukola Saraki

The authorities of the Nigerian Police force are to appear before the Senate over the ongoing crisis at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. 

Uyo Senator, Mr Bassey Albert Akpan, had while citing Order 43 of the Senate rules during plenary, yesterday, updated the upper legislature on the siege of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly by the Nigeria Police.

According to Akpan, the police and some suspected thugs had on Tuesday invade the state House of Assembly and disrupted activities at the complex.

Describing himself as an eyewitness, the senator said he had first-hand information of the invasion, having accompanied the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to the scene.

“Just yesterday at 6am, 100 policemen led the five suspended members into the Chambers of the State House of Assembly and disrupted activities at the complex”,he said.

Akpan further said that the suspected hoodlums were allegedly led by a senior police officer in the state.

He accused the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Musa Kimo, of taking sides with the invaders whose mission he said was to truncate democracy in the state.

He said the police boss supported members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were in the minority in the House of Assembly to cause breakdown of law and order.

Responding, Senate President Bukola Saraki said when lawmakers hear of an invasion, they must defend Nigeria democracy irrespective of which state the problem occurs.

Saraki said, “whether it’s an invasion on this Parliament or anywhere else in this country, we must stand and say what is right.

“At the end of the day, we will still refer the matter to the Committee on Police to do the work that has to be done.

“Within the next 48 hours, we should look into this matter and invite the Police and then get a report to find out exactly what has happened.

“However, this parliament must stand for the fact that we must protect the Legislative arm of Government with no interference.

“We will not conclude on this until we get a report. Any issue which suggests that a minority of members are being supported by security agencies is not something that we should be seen to stand for.

“The Committee’s Report will guide us to confirm exactly what happened in Akwa Ibom”.

There was confusion at the House of Assembly when five former APC lawmakers  arrived  at the assembly on Tuesday morning in a failed attempted to impeach Governor Udom Emmanuel.

The five lawmakers were legislators whose seats were recently declared vacant by the Speaker of the House, Onofiok Luke, for defecting to other political parties before the expiration of the four-year term for which they were elected to serve, as provided by law.

They included  Nse Ntuen, representing Essien Udim State Constituency; Gabriel Toby (Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency); Idongesit Ituen, (Itu State Constituency);  Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin State Constituency) and Victor Udofia representing Ikono State Constituency.