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Monday, 19 November 2018

You’ve no powers to seal Anambra Assembly, lawmakers tell police

You’ve no powers to seal Anambra Assembly, lawmakers tell police

Left: A member of the Anambra House of Assembly, Beverly Nkemdiche, chocked by tear gas. Right: Policemen manning entrance to the Assembly complex on Thursday. Photos: Tony Okafor
Tony Okafor, Awka

Members of the Anambra State House of Assembly on Monday asked the police to unseal the legislative complex to enable them to carry out their lawful activities, unhindered.

The Anambra State Police Command had on Thursday last weak sealed the assembly complex following a fracas that had resulted from the impeachment of the Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, on Tuesday.

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But on Monday, the lawmakers at a press conference described the action of the police as illegal, unconstitutional and an abuse of office.

The lawmakers asked the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to caution the Anambra State Command, stating that the command’s action amounted to attacking the symbol of democracy in the state.

Speaking on behalf of the pro-Maduagwu impeachment group,  the factional Speaker of the  Assembly, Ikem Uzoezie said at no time did the leadership of the House request the police to take over the complex.

Describing the police action as uncalled for, Uzoezie urged the public to condemn the development.

His statement read in parts, “The leadership of Anambra State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikem Uzoezie, followed by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Harford Oseke, the Majority Leader, Hon. Victor Jideofor Okoye and the Minority Leader, Hon. Onyebuchi Offor and others did not at any time request Anambra Police Command to take over, seal off and secure the entire premises of the House of Assembly as well as order the civil servants to report to vacate the premises.

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“It is on record that there was no incident or semblance of any crises that occurred among the members or within the premises of the Anambra State House of Assembly to warrant the leadership of the House to request you (Police) to takeover, seal off and secure premises of the Assembly.

“It is therefore illegal and unconstitutional for the Nigeria Police Force, Anambra State Command to purportedly take over; seal off and secure the entire premises of the Anambra State House of Assembly under any guise of all except as provided under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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