The Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal and 14 other lawmakers supporting him on Wednesday presented a petition to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, requesting the House to investigate the crisis rocking the Assembly.
Recall that on Tuesday, a group of five other lawmakers purportedly impeached Hon. Lawal and other principal officers of the House and in their place installed Hon. Umar Umar as the new Speaker while four others had announced themselves as the principal officers of the State House of Assembly.
But the Hon. Lawal group stormed Abuja and presented their petition dated Wednesday, February 17, 2016 and titled “Act of impunity by Governor of Kogi state Alhaji Yahaya Bello and five members of Kogi state House of Assembly: Call for investigation on the illegal act of five members of the Kogi state House of assembly led by Honourable Umar Imam in the unlawful announcement of the purported impeachment and removal if principal officers of the Kogi state House of Assembly on 16th February 2016”.
In the petition, 10 lawmakers alleged that their signatures were forged to carryout the purported impeachment exercise on Tuesday under the protection of Governor Yahaya Bello.
“We wish to place on record that there was no plenary sitting at the Assembly as envisaged under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and the House Standing Rules. The Honourable Imam-led group illegally announced the removal and purported impeachment of Honourable Lawal as Speaker and other principal officers for their selfish interest without due process and acting a script from Alhaji Yahaya Bello (governor of Kogi state).
“In furtherance of their act of impunity, illegality and desperation, the purported speaker was sworn in the office of the Deputy governor contrary to the extant provisions of the House rules and in flagrant abuse of the tenets of democracy and separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As we speak, on the instructions and directives of the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, all security details attached to the extant Speaker, Honourable Momoh Lawal have been withdrawn thereby exposing him and other members to imminent danger.
“The act of illegality and executive recklessness of the Governor of Kogi state, if allowed to stand will not only truncate our nascent democracy but will also bring the entire law making institution to ridicule and plunge the Kogi state into anarchy and as such we call in strong terms for your intervention, investigation and prompt action to ensure this act of illegality does not stand and to prevent this situation from degenerating into a full blown crisis,” the petition said.
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