Anambra Lawmakers Threaten Court Action against Police over Assembly Closure

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By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Members of the Anambra State House of Assembly Thursday condemned the sealing off of the Assembly by the police, saying they may take legal action against the Nigeria police if they fail to vacate the legislative complex on before Tuesday, 27 November, 2018.

The lawmakers, who arrived the Assembly premises at about 11:59am led by its new speaker, Hon. Ikem Uzoezie, to resume sitting were stopped by security men at the gate of the complex.

Police had last week sealed off the complex over the impeachment of the former Speaker, Mrs Rita Maduagwu, and the attempted invasion of the complex by thugs who came to protest Maduagwu’s removal.

The police in sealing off the premises said it was to forestall a breach of the peace.

But the lawmakers said the continued sealing of the legislative house was not only unconstitutional but a frontal attack on democracy in the state.

The speaker, who addressed journalists on behalf of his group, described the police action as uncalled for and urged religious leaders, traditional rulers and the general public to intervene on the development to enable them discharge their legislative assignment.

According to the speaker, “It is on record that there was no incident or semblance of any crises that occurred among the members or within the premises of the Anambra State House of Assembly to warrant the leadership of the House to request you (police) to take over, seal off and secure premises of the Assembly.”

Other lawmakers — Hon. Onyebuchi Offor (PDP Minority Leader) and Hon. Victor Jidefor Okoye, (APGA Majority leader) — who also spoke on the development, described the action of the police as illegal, unconstitutional and an abuse of office.

The lawmakers called on the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to caution the Anambra State Command, stating that the command’s action amounted to attacking the symbol of democracy in the state.