House of Representatives yesterday summoned the governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, over the deployment of armed military men to the state assembly.
The lawmakers also summoned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to appear before the Committee on Judiciary to explain the involvement of his men in the Kogi Assembly crisis.
The summons followed a motion under matters of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Chukwuemeka Ujam (Enugu-PDP).
In his lead debate, Ujam said that on May 31, masked armed men invaded the Kogi House of Assembly residential quarters, shot into the air and caused pandemonium in an attempt to intimidate members from carrying out their legislative functions.
He alleged that the armed military men that invaded the Kogi State House of Assembly were in company of the security details and escort of the governor.
The lawmaker expressed worry that the governor in defiance of the resolution of the National Assembly continued to patronise a group of five assembly members by forwarding the list of commissioners, special advisers and the budget to them for approval.
Ujam expressed concern that if the impunity was allowed to continue, the crisis rocking the state assembly might result into anarchy and breach of security and threat to lives and property.
In his contribution, the leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos-APC) urged the House to seek judicial interpretation to the situation.
He said the development was a clear violation of the resolution of the House.
“It is time for the House to seek judicial interpretation of the constitution as regards the matter.
“The governor has no right to deploy the military to the state assembly. So the question arises as to who deployed the military?
“If we allow any governor to get away with this then the House can never evoke the section of the constitution which empowers it to summon people when the need arises.
“We should investigate who gave him the power to deploy military to the Kogi State Assembly,” he added.
He pointed out that it was the responsibility of the police to ensure law and order in the society.
Similarly, the minority leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor (Delta-PDP) said the development was confrontational to the powers of the National Assembly and stressed that if allowed, the situation might lead to anarchy in the state.
According to him, ‘’I lay blame on the Attorney General of the Federation for directing that the Kogi State Assembly be opened even when the National Assembly took over the state assembly activities because of the crisis.
“It is a clear violation of Section 121 of the constitution where only five people out of 21 members will sit down and claim to impeach the speaker.
“This is confrontation on the powers of the National Assembly. The Committee on Judiciary should summon the governor to appear before it for proper explanations,” Ogor stated.