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Benue Lawmakers Scale Fence, Slam 6-Month Suspension On Impeached Speaker

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It was drama yesterday  in Makurdi as members of the Benue State House of Assembly climbed over the high perimeter fence of the Assembly Complex in order to gain access to the premises to hold a parliamentary session.

Subsequently, one of their resolutions was to suspend the impeached speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, who they accused of causing the blockade of the Assembly complex. They had earlier impeached him on Tuesday.

LEADERSHIP Weekend learnt that over 10 trucks loaded with police personnel had besieged the Benue State House of Assembly yesterday, preventing members from gaining entrance to the chamber to carry out their legislative functions.

Reporters, who were at the Assembly, saw some of the members scaling the fence to gain access to the Assembly complex. They were not even allowed to have access to their offices.

Seeing that the security agencies were bent on frustrating them, the Benue lawmakers took their sitting to the Old Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi.

A key decision they took was to suspend the impeached speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, from the activities of the Assembly for six months, accusing him of causing the besieging of the Assembly. The motion was moved by the Majority Leader, Mr Avine Agbom.

Agbom recalled that, on Tuesday, 22 members had passed a vote of no confidence on Ikyange and other principal officers of the assembly.

Agbom further stated that after passing a vote of no confidence on the former House leadership, they were consequently impeached.

He added that after their impeachment, Ikyange and his principal officers had gone ahead to hold a press conference and insisted that he was still the speaker.

Agbom pointed out that such a behaviour was against parliamentary rules, adding that because of that singular act and other sundry issues standing against him, the former speaker needed to be suspended.

He also accused Ikyange of preventing them from having access to the chamber by blocking  the gate with official vehicles and with policemen as well as other security agencies who were there giving him support.

The Majority Leader further noted that even the members of staff of the assembly who were civil servants and not politicians were prevented from entering the assembly complex

The motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Egli Ahubi.

Ruling on the matter, the new Speaker, Mr Titus Uba, said that Ikyange had violated the house rules by carrying out acts of insubordination and, as such, the motion calling for his suspension was apt.

Uba, therefore, declared that Ikyange had been suspended for six months.

He also demanded an explanation from the commissioner of police on why his men took over the Benue Assembly Complex.



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