Kogi Assembly: Invasion And Disruption Of Proceedings is Worrisome and Condemnable – Rights Group

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The Invasion And Disruption Of Proceedings That Took Place In The Kogi State House Of Assembly On The 1st Of August 2017 Is Worrisome And Condemnable

Legislatures all over the world are independent arms of government created by law and the constitution, that perform duties and functions based on the law and constitution that established it, and Kogi State and Nigeria cannot be an exception. However, what took place in the premises and on the floor of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the 1st of August 2017, is uncalled for, unnecessary, uncivilized, and barbaric. We therefore condemn it in strong terms, and call for a through investigations by the relevant authorities.

It all began at about 10 am on that fateful day, when staffs and Honourable members arrived for their functions and other visitors to the Assembly that are expected to perform other functions and witness the proceedings of the Assembly as is the practice. However, a new development was witnessed at the premises of the Assembly were unusual faces were seen moving up and down and this lead to arguments at the gates of the Assembly. This was heightened when a member arrived and blocked the entrance to gates of the Assembly with his personal vehicles. Shortly after that, we saw the arrival of the Commissioner of Police CP Wilson Inalegwu, the SA on Security to the Executive Governor of Kogi State. Several media and journalists and Civil Society organizations, including my humble self, were also in the premises.

It was surprising to us, despite the presence of these Senior police officers, civil Defence and DSS, the hoodlums that had earlier engaged in arguments in the premises continued unabated, which should have served as an early warning that there was crisis brewing. No arrests were made at that time. The CP after engaging with the hoodlums, left for his office. Surprising to our dismay, and despite the early warning signs alluded above, that there may likely be crisis, the CP left without leaving behind any Mobile Policemen. Shortly after that the Assembly went into Executive sessions to prepare for the proceedings of the day and thereafter moved for the proceedings. As this was going on, we started hearing strange noise outside the chamber and an attempt was made by the same hoodlums to force their way into the chambers, but this was prevented as the doors were hurriedly locked from the inside. Not too long after that, the hoodlums found their way to the gallery and started throwing stones and ripping off chairs and throwing them into the chambers, beating up people including honourable members, particularly Hon Friday Sani, representing Igalamela-Odolu Constituency and destroying his personal Hilux vehicle.

We are very worried with this strange and recent development. That despite this episode lasted for more 3 hours, no arrest was made as far as we know as the hoodlums had a free day, despite the numbers of Policemen and other security agents in the premises of the Assembly.

The fundamental question for us is, what is rational behind this invasion and disruptions of proceedings, destruction of government properties and physical molestation of elected members, when they are simply performing their constitutional and legitimate duties? With this kind of scenario been witnessed in Kogi State, who is now safe?

We call on the inspector General of police IGP Ibrahim Idris, as a matter of urgency, to institute an enquiry into the role played by the Police in this ugly incidence, and those found guilty must be sanction adequately to serve as deterrent to others no matter their position. Those saddled to protect lives and properties failed to do their job for whatever reason and this is unacceptable in a democratic environment.

We call on the state government, under the leadership of Alhaji Yahaya bello, not to pretend that all is well in Kogi State, and must act decisively as the father of the state, to nip in the bud this kind of ugly incidence in the state, as enough is enough, and Kogi State cannot afford to continue to live in crisis.

We call on the Members of Kogi State House of Assembly to unite and continue performing their constitutional duties and roles, and to maintain the separation of power as conferred on them by the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

We call on the citizens of Kogi state to always be vigilant as the issue of security of lives and properties is the primary responsibility of the government and we must always hold the government accountable in this constitutional responsibility that they swore to uphold, and cannot be taken in isolation.

– Idris Miliki Abdul

Executive Director, CHRCR


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