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NASS Takes Over Kogi State Assembly

* Directs IGP To Seal Assembly Complex

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

Senate, yesterday, concurred with the resolution of the House of Representatives that the administration of Kogi State House of Assembly be taken over by the National Assembly.

The two chambers noted that in view of the fact that the State Assembly cannot perform its legislative functions due to intractable crisis and volatile security situation in the state, National Assembly hereby invoke the powers conferred on it by Section 11(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take over the legislative functions of the State Assembly, pending the restoration of normalcy in the Assembly.

The apex legislative body declared that the impeachment proceedings embarked upon by five members of the State Assembly is null and void.

The National Assembly also condemned the role played by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in subverting the provisions of the Constitution by providing cover for only five members out of the 20 members of the State Assembly to commit illegalities.

It subsequently directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase, to seal off the State Assembly complex until the matter is resolved.

Contributing to the resolution, the Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, appreciate the House for coming up with such resolutions.

“Nigeria is a country with bi-cameras legislature. We are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

“This matter is in the public domain, this matter is simply an embarrassment to our democracy. For a government that God has granted mercy to come with the mantra of change can not afford to allow this can of brigandage to happen under its watch.

“In the fifth Assembly, we witnessed this kind of executive rascality. For four, five members staged an impeachment of the governor. That era has remained with us as a country and dented our image.

“So, I want to say that our concurrence is very timely, is apt and nothing could have been better otherwise one day in this chamber few members of the Senate can rise up one day and carry out impeachment of the presiding officer, and I think we must discourage it. We must make sure that it doesn’t happen in this National Assembly,” he said.

In his contribution, Senator James Manager called for the reinstatement of the man, who was unlawfully and illegally impeached, instead of the National Assembly to now want to take over the functions of that State Assembly.

“My first observation is that, if we are operating a bi-Camera Legislature, concurrence is that once it is referred to the other chamber, in the spirit of the two chambers working together. Otherwise, there (are) about two, three issues that naturally supposed to arise in the motion before us. In the first place , we have read quite a lot about the happenings in Kogi House of Assembly but whatever we read on the pages of the Newspaper and whatever we have heard is not enough to arrive at a conclusion. Once a matter is before you, you would look at it or face of the matters that are adduced before you but this one is just too brief, the details are not there, it is just for concurrence. Again, if it is true as reflected from the resolution from the House of Reps for which we have being asked to concur…..if only five members sat to impeach a speaker, the natural thing that should have happened is to reinstate the man, who was unlawfully and illegally impeached, and not to say you now want to take over the functions of that House of Assembly,” he said.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, explained the report from the House of Representatives.

“It states that the division in the Kogi House of Assembly cuts across party lines. So, I think we should not even bring in party sentiment. It is not an issue of change or no change,” he said.

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