Recalled Former Speaker And Majority Leader Yet To Resume Duty
Despite the lifting of the suspension slammed on the former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Justin Okonoboh and the Majority Leader, Foly Ogedengbe both were conspicuously absent at plenary today.
Efosa Uwangue reports that the house received a petition from Ugbowo elders over issue of large mass of land surrounded with controversy.
On the 21st of August after considering the preliminary report of the adhoc committee to investigate the four suspended members of the suspension order on both the immediate former speaker and majority was lifted an indication that they can resume immediately.
However the reverse was the case as both members were not on their various seat at the resumption of plenary.
There was no normal excuse taken as is usually done if any member decides not to attend despite their names called during the normal attendance.
Meanwhile the house received a petition from the elders of Ugbowo elders concerning a large vast of land belonging to the federal government which has not been used as providing hideout for criminals in the area.
The Speaker, Kabiru Adjoto directed the clerk of the house to read the petition and thereafter directed the committee on land to take appropriate action.
The house before adjourning to Wednesday the member representing Akoko Edo two constituency Emmanuel Agbaje invited members to the Aba festival which he said is held once in seven years in Igarra describing it as an historical event which serve as tourist attraction to the state.
KOGI SPEAKER, 10 OTHERS QUIZZED OVER ASSEMBLY ATTACK
The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, was, on Thursday evening, picked up along with 10 others and whisked away to the Force Headquarters, in Abuja, for their alleged role in the invasion of thugs into the Assembly three weeks ago.
Recall that the Assembly was invaded on August 1st by some thugs, and beat up a lawmaker, Hon. Friday Makama, vandalizing some vehicles and the assembly chamber.
A source close to the Assembly said Kolawole was pick with some lawmakers to explain their roles in the invasion after the police had watched the video clip of all that transpired at the Assembly that day.
Other two members who were also picked up were, Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, representing Ankpa 1 state constituency and Hon. Muhammad Balogun Abdullahi representing Ajaokuta state constituency.
It was reliably gathered that Operatives of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) who arrived Lokoja on Wednesday arrested the Speaker at the Commissioner’s quarters and picked others at various locations.
According to the source, all the security personnel who were present at the scene but watched helplessly the thugs carrying out their dastardly act were also under interrogation including the state Mopol Commander .
It was further gathered that the Inspector General of Police was said to be directly involved in the investigation of the invasion as he was said to have expressed surprise after watching the video clips.
The source also said that the state Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, may not be spared from complicity over the matter ad he was said to be physically present when the thugs carried out the attack.
However, when newsmen contacted the Commissioner of Police, Mr Wilson Inalegwu to confirm the arrest, he simply said “I am not aware, but it is possible that they must have come to pick them without my knowledge.”
Just last Wednesday, in an anticipation of the IG’s directive, the assembly quickly set up a five man Committee to investigate the attack ostensibly to Pre empty the police invitation.
Kogi Speaker bars journalists from covering Assembly
…Says, ‘Journalists are not important’
Journalists covering the Kogi State House of Assembly were stunned, on Thursday, when they were barred from entering into the Assembly complex by stern-looking security men.
The security agents even threatened to shoot anyone who contravened the order which they claimed was given to them by the new Speaker, Hon. Mathew Kolawole.
At Thursday’s plenary, the main entrance leading to the press gallery was under locks, while cameramen, who arrived earlier to mount their cameras, were ordered out.
When pressmen confronted one of the senior police officers at the complex on why they were barred from gaining entry into the complex , he disclosed that the directive was from the Speaker, who he quoted as saying journalists were no longer important to the Assembly.
The police source also said that the Speaker threatened them with uery should they allow journalists into the complex.
The Assembly had invited the Head of Service, Mrs. Hannah Kehinde Lawal, State Accountant General, Mallam Momoh Jubril, Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Debora Oshatimehen, and the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Idris Asiru, to appear before it, on Thursday, to explain why workers and pensioners were yet to be paid for the past 20 months.
It could be recalled that, on Wednesday, the same Speaker ordered the security agents not to allow any journalists to cover the proceeding of the House.
Efforts by a senior official of the Assembly to intervene on the issue was abortive as the security agents rebuffed every move he made.
Also series of calls put across to the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker , Femi Olugbemi, through his mobile phone were not answered.
The crises-ridden Assembly was, few weeks ago, invaded by hoodlums who beat a lawmaker, Friday Sanni, black and blue, before the former Speaker of the House, Umar Imam, resigned in a controversial circumstance which paved way for the new Speaker.
On the same day, the crew of Silverbird Television who was in the Assembly to cover the proceeding was chased away while the Correspondent of Daily Times, Mr. Ahmed Nasarawa was also manhandled.
Kogi Speaker Resigns, As Senator Dino Maleye’s Worst Enemy Emerges As New Speaker
Ahmed Imam, Member representing Lokoja 1 Constituency, in the Kogi State House of Assembly, has officially resigned as the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly.
Hon. Matthew Kolawole, representing Kabba Bunnu Constituency, has now taken charge as the new Speaker.
The new Speaker was formerly the House Majority Leader and a staunch supporter of Governor Yahaya Bello. Also, he is one of the political enemies of Senator Dino Maleye.
His resignation was announced by the Deputy Speaker, Hassan Abdullahi Baiwa, Member representing Okura Constituency, who presided over the House, sitting on Thursday.
In his acceptance speech, Mathew Kolawole promised to carry all aggrieved Members, along by delivering good legislation and people driven government.
BREAKING: Gov. Yahaya Bello, Kogi CP storm House of Assembly, stop plenary from holding
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, and the State Commissioner of Police (CP), Wilson Inalegwu, on Tuesday locked up the Kogi State House of Assembly Complex to prevent plenary from taking place.
According to a source, the development was an attempt to halt the planned removal of the Majority Leader of the House, Matthew Kolawole, who is said to be a staunch supporter of the state governor.
The source further said the State Commissioners of Justice and Finance; Mohammed Ibrahim and Idris Asiwaju, were also slated to testify before the House of Assembly how the state government utilized the bailout funds and the two tranches of the Paris-Club loan refunds received from the federal government.
He said: “The Kogi State House of Assembly is locked as we speak. Governor Yahaya Bello and the State Commissioner of Police stormed the complex this morning with some officers and thugs invited by one Hon. Bello who represents Ajaokuta State constituency to lock up the premises in order to prevent plenary from holding today.
“The reason is not unconnected to the perceived failure of the plot to impeach the Speaker and replace him with the Majority Leader who is a staunch ally of the governor. But, the Speaker himself having control of the House, has also staged a counter plot to have the Majority Leader removed today.
“Also, the governor has paid some arrears owed workers and pensioners in the state with the funds received from the federal government. However, the House had planned, today, to hear from the Commissioners of Justice and Finance how the funds were expended by the state before this incident happened.”
Commending on the incident, opposition youth leader in the State, Austin Okai, described the action of the Governor and the Police Commissioner as a plot to truncate democracy in the State and institutionalize autocracy where in the legislature is suspended from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.
He said: “This is unheard of anywhere in the world that members of the Executive arm of government will physical storm a legislative complex in the company of security operatives in order to prevent legislators from doing their job.
“It is impunity in its highest form and must be put to a stop before it leads to an oppressive regime.”
LAWMAKERS CALLS FOR RECONCILIATION, PEACE REIGN IN KOGI
It is not new that the political bridge between two key political camps in Kogi state is now weak and become toothache to the chronicles of the political developments of the State. The peak of the crisis was the reported assassination attempt on Senator Melaye in his country home in Ijumu Local Government Area last month. The police have since arrested the sole administrator of Ijumu, Hon. Taofiq Isa, and released him on bail over the incident. Incidentally, Isa is widely reported as the closest local government boss to the governor and not surprisingly, the chairman of the state chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria ALGON.
The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Umar Imam, representing Lokoja 1 constituency speaking to our correspondence during an official visit to the state, calls for peace to reign in the state. A state without peace cannot development. When one carries, another pulls it down which is not good for democratic development. The Speaker said two Committees were set up to look into possible ways of assisting the Governor on the on going workers screening exercises. A report was made as an advice to the Governor to pay salary even as the screening exercise continues. But the advice was not taken.
Hon. Bar. Haruna O. Yussuf the Special Assistant to the Governor on Legislative and Assembly matters said on the same account that the Governor is working except for the elongated screening exercises of workers which is necessary but taking too long. A situation where a permanent secretary slots in, up to hundreds of fake workers name and collects their salary, some workers have been working for 20years without or with fake certificates, this is what have been happening. In other matters the Governor is working, the house if Assembly complex have been renovated,a plea was made by the members sent to the Governor and was granted. The Governor got an award from the Inspector General of Police for the new strategy put in place for security. Road networks around the state among other things.
The relationship between Senator Melaye and Governor Bello in the opinion of some, remarkably goes beyond Kogi State, given that both men were from the beginning among the leg men of the Muhammadu Buhari presidential campaign before the 2015 presidential elections. While Melaye acted on the national stage, Bello was Buhari’s main man in Kogi.