Kogi Assembly Crisis: Reps Summons Attorney General, IGP

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House of RepsThe House of Representatives on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to appear before its Committee on Judiciary over his alleged role in the Kogi House of Assembly crisis.
This followed a point of order moved by Nicholas Ossai (Delta-PDP), who cited the Attorney General’s instruction to the Inspector-General of Police to reopen the assembly for proceedings.
Mr. Ossai described the move as unwarranted and unlawful.
The police had acting on a resolution of the National Assembly, sealed the Kogi State Assembly complex, after the emergence of two persons parading themselves as Speakers.
But the IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, in a March 18 letter to the minister, sought legal opinion from him whether to enforce the directive of the National Assembly.
In his response, Mr. Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said there was insufficient “legal basis” in the directive to Mr. Arase by the House of Representatives to ‘seal the Kogi State House of Assembly Complex until the matter is resolved’.
While describing the resolution of the National as “merely persuasive and not binding in law”, the minister advised the police chief to disregard the directive and re-open the Kogi State House of Assembly, which had been under lock and key since March 17.
In his contribution, the Majority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, described the actions of the Attorney General as “sad”.
He said the resolution of the house to seal Kogi assembly was based on Section 11 of the House’s rules.
Pally Iriase, who led the chamber’s delegation to Kogi, said the matter was not in court when the House passed a resolution to take over legislative functions of Kogi assembly as provided by the Constitution.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, said that sensitive matters like that should be treated with seriousness.
On his part, Muhammadu Bago (Niger-APC), called for the Attorney General’s resignation, saying that he lacked the power to instruct the reopening of the assembly.
The legislators, however, resolved to summon Messrs Arase and Malami to appear before their relevant committees.
They also constituted a 22-member Ad hoc Committee headed by the majority leader to investigate the matter and report back in two weeks for further legislative attention.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house resumed plenary on Tuesday after two weeks recess for the Easter celebration.

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