Thursday, April 21, 2016 7:20 pm
The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Kogi Assembly crisis on Thursday met with Mr Solomon Arase, Inspector-General of Police (I-GP) on the re-opening of Kogi House of Assembly complex.
The House through a Resolution directed the I-GP to seal off the Kogi legislature until a peaceful resolution of the crisis that trailed the impeachment of Speaker Lawal Momoh-Jimoh was achieved.
The speaker was impeached by five out of the 20 lawmakers on Feb. 16. They subsequently chose Mr Umar Imam as the new Speaker.
Following National Assembly’s directive, five members who allegedly impeached the Speaker convened and conducted legislative activities within the chamber in disregard of its resolution.
The Committee chaired by Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader, who presided over the investigative hearing, described the failure of IGP to comply with the resolution as breach on Nigerian Constitution and undue interference on the activities of the legislature.
He also frowned at the absence of Malam Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), who was reportedly attending a meeting with the US delegation to Nigeria at the State House.
The committee, however, resolved that the AGF should appear in person on Monday, April 22, by 2 p.m.
While speaking on the outcome of the investigative hearing conducted behind closed door, Gbajabiamila said: “It was straight to the point; all the House wanted to know was why the resolution of the NASS was disobeyed.
“And also why the state Assembly was reopened.The IG gave his explanation, he had sought the advice of the Attorney General and the Attorney General gave him his advice.
“I think we are making good steady progress and I think we would put this matter to a conclusion next week.”
While reacting to a question on whether the I-GP was going to close down the Assembly or not, the majority leader said: “We are not there yet, as you know the hearing is a process.
“This is the first day and there are several sides to it. We have taken the deposition of the IG, the Attorney General will be with us on Monday. The resolution of the House was not to go back to status quo. The resolution of the House was to conduct a hearing to find out why it hasn’t happened and we are getting there.”
Responding, Arase apologised to the leadership of the House, pledged allegiance to the Presidency and explained that he solicited for the advice of the AGF simply on administrative issues.
Arase, who spoke at the end of the public hearing, assured that the discord will be addressed.
He however noted that there was a breakdown of communication.
“It went very well. We were able to understand ourselves, that there was a communication breakdown. I wouldn’t do anything to breach the Constitution.
“I am a law abiding officer. I am sworn to the Constitution to obey the Constitution. There was a break down somewhere but we will resolve it,” Arase said.