Ten members of Kogi State House of Assembly yesterday defied the directive of the Federal House of Representatives, and conducted the plenary, with the factional Speaker, Mr. Ahmed Umar Imam, presiding.
The Federal House had ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase to seal the State House of Assembly during their plenary of Wednesday to forestall the leadership stalemate following the impeachment of the former Speaker, Hon Momoh Jimoh Lawal.
It was learnt that as early as 10 am yesterday, law enforcement agents were stationed on the road leading to the Assembly complex to provide adequate security to the Speaker Imam-led group to conduct the business of the day.
During the plenary, the Majority Leader, Elder Friday Sani moved a motion of urgent public importance, drawing the attention of the members to the development at the National Assembly regarding the kogi State Assembly.
In his words: “The House received with dismay the attempt by the National Assembly and other external factors to subject the State Assembly to public ignominy, saying if urgent action is not taken, the state may be at the verge of collapse”.
The lawmaker added that the “action of the House of Representatives demonstrates not just a special interest but a vested interest”, alleging that what is playing out at the National Assembly poses a serious danger to the nation’s democracy.
He wondered why the members of the House of Representatives failed to move in when the former speaker, Abdullahi Bello was removed and replaced by Momoh Jimoh Lawal “in an uncompleted building using a carpenter hammer as a gavel”, with only seven members.
He pointed out that aside the fact that 7 out of the 25-member assembly sacked the Abdullahi Bello led House, the House of Representatives at that time never invoked section 11 (4) of the constitution to take over the House, in spite of a petition submitted by Bello and 17 other members.
Hon. Sani who is representing Igala Mela/Odolu Constituency in the House further alleged that the development at the National Assembly is part of a plot by Hon. James Faleke to bring down the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello to its knees, describing the action of the House of Representatives as most unfortunate and should be handled legally.
The House resolved that, since the matter is receiving attention at the Lokoja High Court, the House of the Representatives Committee erred, saying the House will drag the Committee before the law court for contempt of court.
Also, the 10-member House resolved to investigate those behind the House of Representatives action against the State House of Assembly and possibly invoke the necessary law against those concerned as deterrent to future offenders.
Earlier, the House held a brief valedictory session in honour of the slain Minister of state in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Barrister James Ocholi, who died with members of his family in a ghastly motor accident on Abuja-Kaduna road on Sunday.
The lawmakers extolled the late minister’s virtues and prayed to the family, state and federal government to bear the irreparable loss.


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