Kogi Assembly In Free-For-All Fight As Speaker, Journalists Escape Death


Hell was let loose today at the Kogi State House of Assembly when suspected hoodlums in large numbers invaded the assembly complex, disrupted sitting and afterward descended on the member representing Igalamela/Odolu constituency, Friday Sani aka Makama, who was just resuming sitting after being reinstated by a state High Court.

The Speaker of the House, Ahmed Umar, and other lawmakers, along with journalists who were at plenary, narrowly escaped death when the thugs disrupted the house sitting and unleashed mayhem.

The hoodlums after gaining entrance to the assembly premises tried to force their way through the Speakers entrance but were prevented by the Speaker’s orderlies who blocked the entrance and held firmly to the door.

The hoodlums promptly climbed the gallery and chased out everybody chanting “What kind of rubbish sitting is this? All of you should vacate this chamber or we kill you.”

The hoodlums then proceeded to haul down chairs at members causing the Speaker’s security aides to whisk him out of the chamber, alongside other lawmakers who scampered to safety through any available doors.

Outside the chamber, journalists and other lawmakers had to scale the fence when some of the hoodlums stationed at the gate did not allow passage.

Tension heightened, when the member representing Igalamela Odolu constituency, Friday Sani was singled out, blocked and beaten mercilessly. The hoodlums also fvideo-recorded him while being attacked.

The plead by the Deputy Speaker, who was crying and pleading for him (Sani) to be let go was ignored by the hoodlums who continued the beating  even in the presence of policemen who watched akimbo.

This was contrary to an earlier assurance from the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inaluegu that the Assembly complex will be safe.

Reacting to the development, the Speaker, Ahmed Umar described it as unfortunate. He said it was more pathetic that it happened in the presence of police and other security apparatus who watched the scene as if they were on the payroll of the hoodlums or their sponsors..

Ahmed said the Commissioner of Police’ assurance of safety was fake. He however eulogised his security details for saving his life, “We didn’t see it coming. The commissioner of Police came in during our executive meeting that there were information of an invasion, but assured that it was under control. Most often, lawmakers fight themselves on the floor. But this dimension of an outside invasion is new.”

Ahmed said he, and other lawmakers will review the situation with the assembly security and come up with a position sooner.

However, the state Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello has decried the invasion, describing it as an act of rascality.

The governor who reacted through the Director General, Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo said the state government frowned at the act and promised that perpetrators will be brought to book.

“We will fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice. We will not allow anybody to stop the lawmakers legally elected by their people from carrying out their duties. This act is condemnable and will will not condone it.”

The whereabouts of the embattled member, Friday Sani, is yet to be known.





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