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Ogun crisis: Assembly fails to sit

By Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTA – THE bid of the Speaker Tunji Egbetokun led Ogun State House of Assembly to hold its sitting was, yesterday, aborted for what the State Police Commissioner; Mr. Musa Daura, said was in response to Egbetokun’s letter asking for adequate police presence and protection for the members.

The aborted sitting, Vanguard, learnt is coming on the heels of strident efforts by the Group of 11 lawmakers led by Mr. Soyemi Coker to get a court injunction restraining the Inspector General of Police and the State Commissioner of Police from effecting the Resolution of the House of Representatives,  asking for police protection for the lawmakers.

Egbetokun had on Friday written a letter to the State Commissioner of Police asking him to give effect to the Resolution by providing police presence and protection at the House of Assembly for a meeting of the House yesterday and Plenary for today.

But yesterday, the gates of the House of Assembly remained firmly shut and workers were not allowed entry while the number of heavily armed policemen at the complex had increased as against the usual number which had been there since the House was closed down.

Newsmen who arrived as early as 8.00 am began to leave the gates of the complex at about noon having waited for hours only for information to filter in that the lawmakers were no longer coming.

The Police  Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi said that he was not aware of any letter of request from Egbetokun.

But factional Speaker; Mr. Soyemi Coker in a reaction to the development asked the Inspector General of Police to discountenance the request of Mr. Egbetokun for police protection for the purpose of reconvening an illegal meeting of parallel House of Assembly,  saying it was  an invitation to anarchy, which should not be allowed.

In a statement by the Special Assistant to the Speaker on Media and Publicity; Mr. Ayo Giwa, the factional Speaker ordered the arrest of Egbetokun for impersonation as he was no longer Speaker of the House.

He said “It is hereby re-affirmed that Mr. Tunji Egbetokun and other fourteen members remain suspended and the security officers attached to the suspended Speaker and other former principal officers be withdrawn forthwith. Any move by the suspended Speaker to reconvene will be firmly resisted by the people of Ogun State.

“We also want to emphasize the legality of the House sitting of Monday 6 September, 2010. We carefully took into cognizance the constitutionality of our action and hereby state that it was a legal and valid Parliamentary exercise.

‘It has been ordered that Mr. Egbetokun should be arrested forthwith for impersonation and failure to hand-over all official documents and property in his custody.

“As a law abiding citizen, I have approached the Ogun State High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Resolution of the House of Representatives purportedly seeking to reinstate the suspended Speaker, Mr. Tunji Egbetokun as the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly as well as his cohorts.

“It should also be noted that a suit filed in April 2009 by Mr. Omosanya Solaja and ten other legislators, against the Speaker of the House of Representatives and others on the threat to take-over legislative activities of the Ogun State House of Assembly is still pending at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta.

“In the light of the pending court actions, we urge the Inspector General of Police to discountenance the request of Mr. Egbetokun for police protection for the purpose of reconvening an illegal meeting of parallel House of Assembly. This we view as an invitation to anarchy which should not be allowed”.


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