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Lawmakers want IG to probe use of arms in Edo Assembly

BENIN CITY—THE leadership of Edo State House of Assembly has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ogbonna Onovo, to investigate and prosecute those who brought in dangerous weapons into the hallowed chambers penultimate week.

It noted that the reluctance of the police to investigate the matter which had been reported to it formally was emboldening the cabal to further destabilise the state.

This comes as  the Clerk of the House, Mr Egbe Evbuomwan, threatened to remove the names of the suspended Speaker, Zakawanu Garuba and his deputy, Levis Aigbogun, from the payroll of the State House of Assembly, if they fail to return the official vehicles in their possession by the morning of Wednesday, 10 March 2010.

The new Speaker of the House, Mr Bright Omokhodion, who also debunked the claim that the change of the leadership in the House was masterminded by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, alleged plans by the eleven Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers who have been in Abuja since the incident to destabilize governance in the state through alleged importation of arms and thugs.

Former Speakerdenies involvement

But Zakawanu in a swift reaction, described Omokhodion as a traitor who was afraid of his shadows.
He said: “I can assure you that I will never be involved in any violence in the state and I remain the Speaker until the court says otherwise.”

On the order that he should return the House vehicles in his possession, Garuba stated that “in one of their reliefS in court, they said I should return House properties in my possession. So how can I return them when the court is yet to declare who is the authentic Speaker?

“My lawyers have written them that those properties are in my possession and they will remain with me until the court rules on the matter.”

Omokhodion, who addressed newsmen in Benin City yesterday, said the action of some lawmakers who brought in weapons into “parliament to create bodily harm with the intention to intimidate and kill in the House is against all parliamentary convention and we ask the Inspector General of Police to step in immediately and arrest those culpable in this act so that justice will be seen to be done.

“If the IG of police takes this up, because this is a criminal act and conclude its investigation, they (PDP lawmakers) would on their own turn down their tendency towards destabilization, because we know they have been importing thugs, we have been receiving text messages that bombs are still every where and this has to stop.

“This state belongs to all of us. And the interest of a few cannot be projected above the interest of the generality of the people of Edo State,” he asserted.


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