From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
THE crisis rocking Kogi State House of Assembly took a different dimension yesterday when the House of Representatives assumed its legislative functions.
The House also ordered Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to seal off the premises of the assembly just as it declared impeachment of the Speaker, Momoh Lawal Jimoh, null and void.
The resolution of the House was consequent on the adoption of a report from its 10-man investigative panel, which looked into Jimoh’s alleged removal.
On Tuesday, February 23, the House inaugurated a committee headed by the Deputy Whip, Pally Iriase, to investigate circumstances surrounding Jimoh’s impeachment.
Jimoh, along with 14 of his colleagues, on Wednesday February 17, pet itioned Speaker Yakubu Degaru and sought his intervention when Umar Imam and four others announced themselves as new leaders of the state Assembly.
Presenting the committee report, Iriase described actions taken by the Imam-led group as an affront to the legislature and added that not only did the self-declared new speaker and his other colleagues fail to form a quorum, plenary did not hold on the day they claimed to have impeached Jimoh.
Iriase, who warned that the fragile peace in Kogi could be broken if the House does not take definite action, stressed that several groups in the state have stayed calm with the hope that the House will step in to restore order.
The lawmaker, who called for the House to invoke Section 11 Sub-Section 4 to take over the assembly, equally informed the House that while Imam and his group refused to meet with the committee, arguing that they had obtained what he described as a non-existent court injunction, Governor Yayaha Bello met with the delegation from the House.
He explained that the governor denied being behind Jimoh’s removal, accusing the lawmaker of misleading him by saying he was willing to resign his position.
“The only way we can prevent bloodshed in Kogi is by invoking Section 11 Sub-Section 4 to take over the legislative functions of the Kogi State House Assembly pending the restoration of normalcy in the assembly,” Iriase said.
The report was unanimously carried when put into a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun who presided over debate on the report.