Vacate Akwa Ibom Assembly – Senate Orders Police

The Senate on Thursday ordered policemen deployed in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to vacate the complex immediately to enable the lawmakers to perform their legislative functions.

The decision was reached after a point of order raised by Senator Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North-East) at plenary, stating that the Assembly had been under lock and key for over 24 hours without clear reasons.

The police had on Wednesday sealed off the House of Assembly 48 hours after the All Progressives Congress youths protested the sack of a lawmaker, Idongesit Ituen.

Ituen, who represents the Itu State Constituency, was sacked by a Federal High Court for defecting from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the APC.

At the sitting of the House on Monday morning, the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, declared the seats of four other lawmakers, who defected from the PDP to the APC, vacant.

The five sacked lawmakers however met to remove Luke as speaker, and elected one of them, Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency) to replace him.

In his submission, Akpan insisted that the invasion of the Assembly was aimed at impeaching the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, Punch reports.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged his colleagues against reducing the matter to a political issue, before ordering the police to immediately vacate the premises.

“It is an action against the law that exists. The police can provide law and order without preventing lawmakers’ access to the chamber.

“It is bad to allow such to happen that the police would seal off a state legislature for more than 24 hours. The police should vacate the premises immediately.”

The senate thereafter resolved that the security agencies must reopen the assembly complex and allow lawmakers to gain access to the chamber, while they provide security and prevent anarchy.

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