Lawmakers loyal to the embattled speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Momoh Jimoh-Lawal, have alleged that the presidency is aiding in the flouting of law by the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Members of the group of 15 (G-15) lawmakers who are loyal to the embattled speaker, during a press conference in Lokoja at the official residence of the speaker on Tuesday, said governor Bello was fuelling the crisis in the state House of Assembly using his connection with the presidency.
Spokesperson of the G-15, Hon. Sunday Shigaba (Bassa) expressed misgivings on the alleged role of the presidency in the protracted assembly crisis.
The assembly has remained under lock since last week following the directive of the Inspector General of Police, who acted on the orders of the Senate to the effect.
The G-15 alleged that the governor had on occasions boasted of support from the presidency in the ongoing assembly crisis.
They said: “It is rumoured that the governor has time without numbers stated with boast that he has the support of the presidency to go ahead and disregard due process and the rule of law in the conduct of the state affairs. No wonder it is reported that the governor granted press interview last week in The Nation newspaper of March 30, 2016, shortly after his meeting with the chief of staff to the president, claiming ignorance of any crisis in the state assembly and went further to say that his speaker is sitting
“It may therefore be most unfortunate to realise that the executive governor has the backing of the presidency to perpetrate this high level of impunity and total disregard to due process and rule of law in the administration of the state at a time when citizens’ expectations are high against such.”
They warned that any act by the rival leadership of the assembly under Hon. Umar Imam as speaker “as far as legislative activities in the state are concerned remains null and void and of no effect.”
Shigaba said any transaction between the government and individuals, groups or institutions or even with the G-5 which requires the nod of the laws from the state assembly is of no effect until the issue is resolved.
He said, “With particular note, the purported second reading as well as budget defence said to be undertaken by the G-5 in government house is of no effect.
“As civilised and law abiding citizens, we have chosen to tow the path of honour and regard for due process and rule of law while patiently waiting for amicable resolution of the crisis.”
The group expressed optimism that the crisis would soon be a thing of the past, and commended the leadership of the National Assembly as well as the forum of Conference of Speakers and the people of the state for standing in defence of the institution and democracy.
The special adviser to the governor on Legislative and Assembly Matters, Hon. Yusuf Haruna in reaction denied any form of collusion by the state government in the assembly crisis.
He dispelled allegations against the governor that he boasted of support from the presidency, just as he denied purported payment of salary and allowances to only the G-5 members by the government.
He said all assembly members were paid their salaries and allowances which were inherited from the past administration in the state.


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