Police take over Edo Assembly
Police Take over Edo Assemblyas APC decampees deny N50m bribe allegation
The Edo State House of Assembly was yesterday taken over by the Police sequel to a break down of law and order on the floor of the House.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebea and his group, later in the day, described as fallacious, the allegation made by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, that they got N50 million each to dump the APC, for the PDP.
The police had to take over the premises of the Assembly after youths loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and those of All Progressives Congress, APC, engaged themselves in a free for all.
The nine PDP lawmakers said that they had suspended the Speaker of the House, Mr. Igbe and the Majority Leader, Mr. Philip Shaibu. According to the suspended Deputy Speaker, Mr. Ebea, 'I am the new Speaker.'
The suspended members, alongside other PDP lawmakers, who had earlier sat in the Chambers without the mace, elected the Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebea, as the new Speaker, saying that their action was because of 'the Speaker and Majority Leader's unbecoming behaviour, which had brought the integrity of the House into serious disrepute.
The House hardly sat at the adjourned time of 10a.m. This was occasioned by the fact that the former Majority Leader had taken upon himself to always decide when and where the House would sit.
It was however, observed that the nine lawmakers were not with the mace within the three minutes they spent on the floor of Assembly chambers.
But the 14 APC lawmakers loyal to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, described the alleged suspension as laughable, accusing the police of aiding the four suspended lawmakers to break into the chambers. Kabiru Adjoto, who addressed newsmen at the office of the Speaker with 13 other members, said: 'That they suspended the Speaker somewhere in Ugbor village is laughable. You can see the Speaker and the Majority Leader seated here comfortably, so that rumour is arrant nonsense.'
The Clerk of the House, Mr. Robert Ogini, told newsmen that 'I have the mace and I was with the Speaker when they broke the doors of the chambers with thugs. So, I don't know how they could have suspended the Speaker and the Majority Leader when the mace was not with them.'
The House had, Monday, suspended the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Ebea, Mr. Friday Ogieriakhi (Orhionmwon South constituency), Mr. Jude Ise-Idehen (Ikpoba Okhai) and Mr. Patrick Osayinmen, (Oredo East).
Tension started brewing, yesterday, at 9.45a.m., when a white bus carrying the suspended members drove into the House of Assembly complex with some mobile policemen.
On sighting the lawmakers, the Sergeant at Arms took to his heels.
Barely three minutes after the suspended lawmakers and four other PDP lawmakers sat, Speaker Igbe and 14 other lawmakers stormed the chambers at exactly 10a.m.
The Majority Leader of the House, Shaibu, who spoke to newsmen after the fracas, said: 'We came to sit this morning and we sat as usual. But before we came in, the police escorted the suspended members and the PDP members to the chambers. On our arrival at 10a.m., we saw them hurriedly rushing out of the chambers. The police had aided them to forcefully open the chambers.
It will be recalled that the governor, had while addressing some aggrieved APC youths at the Government House on Monday, said that the four lawmakers, who recently decamped the PDP, had been given N50 million each to decamp.