- As 16 APC lawmakers hold emergency sitting
By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
Barely 12 hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Major General Muhammadu Buhari winner of the presidential election, 16 out of the 19 APC lawmakers in Ekiti State stormed the assembly complex in an attempt to hold a parliamentary session.
The APC lawmakers showed up just as the seven PDP lawmakers led by the factional leader, Hon. Dele Olugbemi were holding session with his group at the same assembly.
Their presence stunned Assembly workers, as they headed for the chambers to hold their first legislative meeting since they were forced out in controversial circumstances last November.
Led by the Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin, APC lawmakers said they were back to assume their official duties in accordance with the people’s mandate given to them.
However, soldiers and policemen later came to the complex after the APC lawmakers had concluded their meeting to keep the situation under control.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, who led about 100 policemen and soldiers, ordered the closure of the complex to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
The seven PDP legislators had on November 17 last year “elected” Olugbemi as “protem speaker” to screen and ratify Governor Ayodele Fayose’s three commissioners and local government caretaker committee members.
They later returned to the Assembly complex on November 20 and “impeached” Omirin, without the constitutionally-required two thirds or 18 lawmakers.
Omirin led the APC legislators to the Assembly in a convoy of 14 vehicles at 11:30am.
They observed a praise-and worship session with an opening prayer led by the member representing Efon Constituency, Folorunso Ogundele.
After meeting for 10 minutes, the APC lawmakers briefed reporters waiting outside.
Omirin said they came back to begin their legislative duties, saying the people should not be surprised by their presence.
He described Olugbemi as an impostor, stressing that the legitimate speaker is back and that “nobody dares stand in his way.”
Omirin said: “Why are you surprised that we are here? I don’t expect you to be surprised that we are in our offices because we are duly elected as members of the House of Assembly.
“This is my office and I shouldn’t be asked why I am here. Though I have instituted a case challenging the fake impeachment against me, that will not prevent us from doing what we are supposed to do.”
When asked whether Buhari’s victory prompted their action, Omirin replied: “No, that is not true. It was just mere coincidence. Don’t forget the fact that because I have not been here since November does not been performing my duties. So, whether Buhari is declared or not, we have to do our work.
“I have been attending Speakers’ meetings in Abuja and attending to my people at my. Constituency, so we haven’t abdicated our duties”.
Efforts by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Operations, whose bullet-proof vest covered his name tag, to pacify the APC lawmakers not to reconvene failed.
He therefore, urged the lawmakers to “do everything according to the dictates of the constitution,” saying that the police learnt that the Assembly’s leadership crisis was in court.
When Olugbemi emerged from his office, he criticised the police commissioner for closing down the complex.
He said: “Commissioner, I don’t think it was right to close down the Assembly. We have the capacity to contain the APC lawmakers. We are ready to meet them fire for fire.”
Omirin and his colleagues left the assembly complex at about 12:10pm after which the commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, arrived and ordered his men to cordon off the entire complex.
It was this point that Olugbemi came out to challenged Lakanu on why he should order the closure of the complex.
“We are all Nigerians and we are doing our official duties here. I don’t think there is any need for the closure of his Assembly Complex. We can handle the matter,” Olugbemi lamented.
Lakanu, however, siad the order for the closure of the complex was from above and that the police would not wait and allow a breakdown of law and order in the state.
Meanwhile, the state government has said that it imposed a dusk-to-dust curfew in the state to prevent loss of lives and properties of the people of the state.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the state government decided to impose the curfew so as to prevent the hoodlums from taking advantage of the political scenario to wreak havoc in the state.