Friday, 13 December 2013

Police disrupt Rivers lawmakers’ resumption

Nigeria’s Rivers State Police Command today freely used teargas to disperse 22 lawmakers, who had come to the Assembly Complex to sit. 

Twenty-five members of the state House of Assembly loyal to the state governor were stopped by the policemen, who mounted a roadblock with two armoured personnel carriers and 14 patrol vans on both ends of Moscow Road ostensibly to prevent the lawmakers from gaining entry into the House of Assembly complex.

The pro-Amaechi lawmakers, led by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, told the policemen that they (Assembly members) were acting on a court ruling in Abuja that the National Assembly should no longer take over the functions of the state lawmakers.

However, when all entreaties from the 25 state lawmakers did not sway the policemen that had already cordoned off the road, they (lawmakers) decided to hold a makeshift session on Moscow Road to the surprise of passersby.

The police led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Port Harcourt Area Command, Mr. Aliyu Garba, had insisted that the leadership of the House must write to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, before the Assembly complex could be reopened.

The House had suspended its sessions in July after a fracas durimg which five minority members said to be loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience attempted to sack the Speaker of the Assembly, who enjoys the support of 26 members.

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