Anambra Assembly Member Collapses as Police Clash with Thugs

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Hon. Ikpeazu being assisted by security agents after she inhaled teargas

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

There was tension yesterday at the Anambra State House of Assembly following attempts by factions of the assembly to reconvene for legislative duties.

A faction of the assembly had last Tuesday removed the Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Rita Maduagwu, while Hon. Ikem Uzoezie was nominated as the new speaker.

Maduagwu, who surfaced later and briefed journalists, denied being removed. She later held a separate plenary, and adjourned to same date as the first group.

But attempt by both groups to reconvene yesterday was faced with stiff opposition as security agents deployed to the complex restricted their movement.

Shooting however erupted when some thugs, who were mobilised by unknown politicians, attempted to gain entrance into the complex, resulting in heavy shooting of canisters of teargas.

A member of the assembly, Hon. Beverly Ikpeazu representing Onitsha south 11 state constituency, was caught in the shooting, resulting in her collapsing.

Ikpeazu was first stopped by security agents who denied her entry into the assembly, but shortly before she could introduce herself, a hail of teargas meant for the suspected thugs affected her.

She was helped into the complex by security agents.

As at the time of filing this report, journalists were still barred from entering the complex, while most offices in the assembly complex had been locked by police officers, as the hallowed chambers remained shut.

Speakers of both factions of the assembly have arrived at the complex with their supporters.