By Gbenga Oke & Rotimi Ojomoyela
THE National Assembly fact-finding committee on the alleged invasion of Ekiti State House of Assembly by operatives of Department of State Services, DSS, yesterday visited the state to ascertain the veracity of the claim.
The committee co-chaired by the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Shabba Lafiagi and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Jaji, promised to unravel the contentious issues and come up with a report.
This came as the state legislators demanded for the release of their colleagues, describing their detention and circumstances under which they are being detained as an affront of the sanctity of the Assembly.
The legislators, who were on a courtesy visit to Vanguard Headquarters yesterday in Lagos, said they cannot be stampeded by the DSS into impeaching Governor Fayose, who they described as the conscience of the opposition in Nigeria.
However, the NASS team visited the state governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose, Speaker of the House, Mr Kola Oluwawole, Director of DSS, Mr. Andrew Lorkay, and Commissioner of Police, Mr Etop James.
Briefing newsmen, Lafiagi said the National Assembly was deeply concerned about the event and the image it had created for the country.
He said; “To let you know the level of our concerns, the two chambers simultaneously passed resolutions that we have to probe the alleged invasion of the House by DSS to unravel what actually transpired. We immediately set up a joint committee to visit Ekiti and that is why we are here.
On his part, Fayose commended the NASS team for its swift action to resolve the crisis, noting that they should ensure that justice is done in the interest of the nation.
We won’t impeach Fayose – Ekiti lawmakers
Also speaking on the matter, leader of the team that visited Vanguard, Dr. S.I.B Omotosho, described the action of the DSS as unfortunate, adding that it should not be encouraged in Nigeria.
His words: “If there is need for the DSS to come into the Assembly, they should have come in a normal way and not invading our assembly and carting our members away in a commando style.”
“After the invasion, we reported the matter to the governor. We thought it was going to end, but that did not happen. We sent a lawyer to the DSS office in Abuja to see one of our members who was taken there, but the DSS did not allow the lawyer to see him.
“We are not happy with what is happening and we became apprehensive. We had no option than to go to court to seek redress to enforce our fundamental human rights. The DSS were served court papers, they refused to show up and we got a judgement last week Friday that our member, Afolabi Akanni should be released immediately. This is the 13th day and they are yet to obey the court order. We went to court to give us substituted service, the bailiff, who was sent to paste the document, was not allowed to do so. When he wanted to drop the documents, they threatened to shoot him. So the bailiff ran away.”
Meanwhile, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, and Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, trooped to the streets of Ado Ekiti protesting the introduction of what they termed obnoxious tax policy of the state government.