Despite their prompt response to a directive issued by the state police command that members of the Rivers State House of Assembly must sign an undertaking to be of good conduct, the lawmakers are upset that the police have reneged on its earlier promise to re-open the assembly complex for plenary today.
Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, while condemning the police action, described it as sad and frustrating.
Kwanee, one of the pro-Governor Rotimi Amaechi lawmakers, who made this known while speaking with reporters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital yesterday, said the police were deliberately looking for a way to stop the state legislature from functioning.
“It is very sad because if you recall the Obio/Akpor issue, did the state not appeal? There was a ruling for a stay of action; was the ruling respected. We have met with the police and they said we could go back to work after signing the peace undertaking. They thought we would not sign the undertaking. We are pro-Rivers and that was why we did all that”, he said.
The police, who had earlier assured the lawmakers that it would re-open the assembly complex, however, soft pedaled following an appeal by the leadership of the House for a stay of action on the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja which had earlier nullified the takeover of the functions of the state House of Assembly by the National Assembly.
According to a statement signed by the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ahmad Mohammad, the House of Assembly would remain closed until the motion of a stay of execution was determined or vacated.
“Consequently, the Commissioner of Police [Joseph Mbu] has written to the Clerk of the Rivers State House of Assembly to inform the members to stay away from the Assembly complex and to stop parading themselves under the guise of oversight functions”, a police statement said.