- No sitting held –Clerk
- I assumed duty with 25 members –Factional speaker, Uzoezie
There are strong indications that the National Assembly may take over the performance of the functions of Anambra State House of Assembly. This emerged as the Clerk of the assembly, Mr. Pius Udo, yesterday dismissed the claim by the factional Speaker, Ikem Uzoezie, that he presided over the sitting of the assembly as the new Speaker. Indication to this effect emerged last night following the seal-off of the complex by the police, as a result of the showdown that took place last Thursday where political thugs and security operatives battled for supremacy. A source at the Government House, Awka, told Saturday Telegraph that since the lawmakers have refused to settle their matter, the National Assembly would go ahead and perform the functions of the assembly. When contacted, however, Udo, told reporters that he was not aware of such plans but lamented that the crisis is most unfortunate and regrettable. Confirming the sealing – off of the assembly complex, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Haruna Mohammed, said the complex would remain sealed indefinitely in order to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order.
He said: “Yes, the assembly has been sealed – off indefinitely because of what is happening there. We want to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. It is also in the interest of innocent members of the public and for the protection of public property in the area. “I do not know when the assembly complex would be opened but it remains closed indefinitely until peace returns, until there are no more acts or actions that may lead to the breakdown of law and order; and what we are doing is to fight against security breach.” On his part, the speaker of the assembly, Ikem Uzoezie, told Saturday Telegraph yesterday that, “We have our team of lawyers waiting to get our briefs and the issue of National Assembly taking over our functions is just being funny.
There is nothing to warrant that at all.” An Awka based legal practitioner, Greg Ofodile, however, contended that: “The National Assembly can only take over the functions of the state assembly in case of a state of emergency in that state. “For now there is no breakdown of law and order and we do not have a state of emergency in Anambra State. For now it is still an internal affair of the Anambra State House of Assembly and anybody who is trying to introduce this angle does not like our state. If they do it; it would be actionable in a court of law so people should be guided.” Meanwhile, Udo, while addressing journalists, said: “You are aware that on Tuesday there was a parallel sitting here in the House and both factions adjourned till yesterday. But on Wednesday the two factions agreed that there will be no sitting today.
“As a Clerk, my duty was to communicate all the members and did so. There was not supposed to be any sitting today and there was no sitting. “If anybody had told you that there was a sitting, you know as a journalist you were supposed to cover the proceeding as usual, but if you did not witness any sitting then there was no sitting. The clerk, the deputy clerk and the sergeant at arm, did not participate in any sitting. As a matter of fact the chamber was under lock and key.” While the member representing Aguata II State Constituency in the assembly, Ikemefune Uzoezie, had earlier told journalists that he had assumed duty as the authentic Speaker of the assembly with 25 members on his side. Uzoezie, who was elected last Tuesday by 22 members after impeaching the former Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, has also not been sworn in by the Clerk as at the time of filling this report.
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