From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday summoned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Solomon Arase over the AGF’s directive to the IGP not to carry out the order of National Assembly to seal-off Kogi State House of Assembly.
The two houses of the National Assembly had resolved to take over the legislative functions of Kogi Assembly. The lawmakers also directed the IGP to seal the state assembly until the current crisis rocking it was resolved.
However, the AGF allegedly directed the IGP to disregard the directive of the National Assembly, insisting that the resolution of the federal legislature was wrong. Malami reportedly described the crisis as a misunderstanding among the legislators which did not pose a security threat to the state.
But the House of Representatives in its resolution after debating motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Ossai Nicholas Ossai, invited the IGP and the AGF to appear to explain the reasons for their actions.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara who presided over plenary said a 22-man adhoc committee chaired by the Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila would investigate what led to the actions taken by the duo and report back to the House in two weeks.
The Deputy Whip, Mr. Pally Iriase, Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuma Onyema, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, Mr. Philip Shaibu, Mr. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, Nnena Ukeje, Mr. Edward Pajock, Mr. Wole Oke, and the Chairman of House Committees on Justice, Judiciary, Rules and Business are also members of the committee.
The inclusion of the IGP was to ascertain why it took him several weeks to implement the resolution of the National Assembly directing the police to seal the assembly complex pending the resolution of the crisis.
Speaking on the motion, Ossai said it was regrettable that after the House had taken a resolution on the Kogi State House of Assembly to forestall any breakdown of law and order, the AGF told the IGP that the decision of the National Assembly was unwarranted and unlawful.
In his contribution, Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly must carry out its responsibility to defend the constitution of the country.
He insisted that the National Assembly was backed by section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution, as members of the state assembly were unable to perform their duties because of the crisis. He said five members constitute the majority in a 25-member assembly. “I believe that the AGF was wrong. I believe the AGF has erred here by inviting the police to open the house,” he said.