By Olugbenga Salami
Irked by the continued invasion of Always Ibom State House of Assembly by the policemen and suspected thugs, the Senate, yesterday, mandated its Committee on Police Affairs, to as a matter of urgency, investigate the alleged invasions and report back within 48 hours.
The upper legislative chamber stressed that the investigation became imperative as that would enable it appreciate the true picture of what actually transpired in the Assembly on Tuesday, adding that it was only after what happened in the Assembly was established that the Senate could take a position.
The Senate resolution followed the report of the alleged invasion presented during plenary yesterday by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan, PDP-Akwa Ibom North East, while briefing his colleagues on the update of the development.
Senator Akpan. who explained that suspected thugs invaded and disrupted activities at the State House of Assembly on Tuesday, however, claimed to have personally witnessed the alleged invasion when he visited the Assembly complex in the company of the state governor, Udom Emmanuel.
He also alleged that the invaders were led by the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo to truncate democracy in the state, adding that the police commissioner took side with the minority All Progressives Congress, APC lawmakers in the state to cause break down of law and order.
Reacting, Senator Jibrin Barau, APC-Kano North, who raised a point of Order, Order 53(5), informed the Senate that the issue of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was in court, just as he cautioned that the upper legislative chamber should learn to distance itself from state matters, adding that it should concentrate on national issues and leave state matters for the states.
“Mr. President, my distinguished colleague raised this matter last week and the Committee on Police Affairs has been mandated to investigate the matter. Besides, this matter is before a law court and I think we should allowed the committee to carry out its assignment. We are tired of this issue of Akwa Ibom”, he said.
Senator Barau’s position however did not go down well with some senators, even as they made moves to shout him down and tempers began to rise.
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, however, intervened and insisted that the Senate should be interested wherever democracy was under threat.
Saraki said: “We were all here when this chamber was invaded. We cannot tolerate the invasion of the hallowed chamber of any legislative house. It is completely unacceptable. The Police Affairs committee should find out what happened and report back to the Senate within 48 hours”.
He therefore asked the Committee on Police Affairs to continue with its assignment and submit its report within 48 hours.