Kogi Assembly Crises Throw up Constitutional Issues between N’Assembly and AGF

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Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

The ongoing crises in the Kogi State House of Assembly has thrown up several constitutional issues between the National Assembly and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

This was the observation made by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, following a closed door meeting with the AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, monday.

Malami had been summoned to appear before the House Committee on Judiciary following his order to the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Solomon Arase, to unseal the Kogi State assembly after the House ordered that it be sealed.

The state assembly has been enmeshed in crises resulting in the impeachment of the Speaker, Hon. Jimoh Lawal, by five out of 20 members.

The House had invoked its powers granted by Section 16 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended to take over the assembly, following recommendations by its fact-finding delegation to the state.
The AGF had however allegedly said the House acted in error, and its takeover illegal.

The closed-door meeting lasted for about three hours yesterday, with the Special Assistants to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang and Hon. Sumaila Kawu, in attendance.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Gbajabiamila said progress was being made while discussions were ongoing.

He added that the constitutional issues between both parties would be considered with a view to resolving them by next week.

“We went in there to discuss the issues, to unravel all the legal and factual issues…there is no doubt that the AGF wrote a letter to the IG and it’s clear that the IG acted on the letter, so it’s the contents of the letter that we discussed, and we discussed in a constitutional way bringing out all the issues he (AGF) raised,” Gbajabiamila said.