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Police Besiege Benue Asembly, Prevent Members From Meeting


From  Chris Gaga, Makurdi

There was an uneasy calm on the early Hours of Friday at the Benue State House of Assembly as the Police besieged the Assembly complex and prevented members from holding their session.

The drama ensued at about 10am when the new leadership of the House led by the new Speaker, Hon. Titus Ubah approached the gate of the State Assembly to resume sitting.
Recall that on Tuesday  this week,the former speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly,  Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange was impeached by a majority of 22 members out of the 30 members of the Benue Assembly following a vote of no confidence against the former speaker.
The new leadership of the Assembly on approaching the gate Friday, discovered that  Men and Officers of the Nigerian Police Force heavily armed had completely besieged  the house.
An attempt by members to gain access to the house was resisted  forcefully by the Police even as the gate was under lock and key.
The drama lingered on at the main gate of the Benue Assembly for over 30 minutes when the new leadership and members totaling 21 moved to government house entrance gate to the Assembly which was also mounted by the police denying them entry.The members then forced themselves in by scaling in through the fence.
The leadership and members  however could not gain access into the hallowed Chambers of the Assembly for plenary considering the tension and complete take over of the Chambers by the Police.
When sought to know while the Police besieged the Benue Assembly, the leader of the heavily armed men of the Police  force who was spotted to be the Deputy Commissioner of Police,Benue State Command declined much comments but disclosed that him and his team were acting based on  orders from above.
Addressing newsmen shortly, the Chairman Ad-hoc Committee on Publicity and member representing Ukum State Constituency,Hon Paul Biam said the action of the Police was highly regrettable, explaining such move was needless.
Hon Biam informed that the Speaker became a speaker by 16 votes out of the 30 members, but was removed by a significant  22 votes, noting that he should have been reasonable enough to accept his rejection and take it in good fate.
The Chairman House Ad-hoc Community on Publicity,Mr Biam said for the sake of peace of the State, the house would consider sitting in any other Venue within the State as stipulated law.
Meanwhile, the new leadership of the Benue State House of Assembly and members later reconvened for plenary at the old banquet hall of the Peoples House in makurdi same day.
At the sitting presided over by the new Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon Titus Ubah, the house Suspended for the period of six months the former Speaker,Hon Terkimbi Ikyange for what they described as gross misconduct and insubordination of the legal proceedings of the Benue Assembly.
In a motion filed by the new Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon Avine Agbom accused the former speaker of unruly behavior and insubordination,noting that Mr Ikyange deserve to be punished.
Contributing,member representing Ukum State Constituency,Hon Paul Biam,the Deputy Speaker Hon Johnson Ahubi,and member representing Buruku State Constituency, Hon Mrs Ngunan Adingi  both supported the suspension move,  accusing the former speaker of engineering the harassment meted on the Honourable members by the police,describing the act as an infringement on their  right as members of the Assembly.
In another motion moved by Member representing Agatu, Hon Audu Sule,the Benue State House of Assembly directed  that the police should vacate the Assembly premises with immediate effect.
Contributing on the motion, member representing Konshisha State constituency,Hon Richard Ujege,Hon Ire Matthew and Hon Johnson Ahubi called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up and stop the impunity that is looming the State for the good of democracy.
Daily Asset gathered that the besieging of the Benue State House of Assembly Premises came on the heels of a new Commissioner of Police deployed to the  State this week with the exit of CP Fatai Owoseni.



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