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Rivers: Police, Lawmakers in Tug-of-War Over Assembly

Rivers: Police, Lawmakers in Tug-of-War Over Assembly

THE Nigeria Police, Rivers State Command, and a faction of the state legislators, are locked in a tug-of-war for the control of the House of Assembly complex along Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The battle has been raging for two days. The police are stopping the lawmakers from entering the assembly complex. The legislators are anxious to resume sittings following an Abuja High Court ruling that the National Assembly cannot take over the functions of the legislative arm of the Rivers State Government.

Piqued by what they perceived as an anti-democratic tendency by the police, the lawmakers are currently bracing to exploit some legal instruments to stop the police.

Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, who made this known said they will resist the police through legal means. According to him, ‘’we were here today, Friday, December 13, to gain access to perform our legislative functions and we were also prevented again by the police.’’

Continuing, Kwanne said, the legislators are working out modalities to file a legal action against the police for deliberately refusing to obey court orders and vehemently disallowing the lawmakers from exercising their constitutional powers in the current democratic dispensation.

But the police are insisting that there are two factions in the House and that they will not allow any of the two groups to gain entrance until they get a directive from the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.

Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Omoku Division, who is also a former Spokesman of the police in the state, Uche Mike Chukwuma who led the police team told the lawmakers that “we are aware that your matter is a legal issue. We are professionals and will not allow any of the two Assembly factional groups to gain entrance into the Assembly complex, because the two groups have similar interest. The police is assuring you that the Assembly complex will remain closed until we get further directives from the Inspector-General of Police at Abuja”.

When plastic chairs were brought for the lawmakers to sit outside the Assembly complex, the police refused to allow the lawmakers sit on the chairs. This infuriated the lawmakers who then proceeded to sit on the floor of the road(Moscow road) leading into the Assembly. While sitting on the road, the legislators sang solidarity songs, and praise and worship songs to God.


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