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Confusion In A/Ibom Assembly As Sacked Members Elect New Speaker

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The air of uncertainty has enveloped the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly as five members of the Assembly sacked by the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, yesterday elected the member representing Essien Udim state constituency, Mr. Nse Ntuen as their new Speaker.

The lawmakers include the five members whose seats were declared vacant by House Speaker, Onofiok Luke earlier in the day.

Speaking with journalists in Uyo, yesterday, Nse Ntuen said that the decision to change the Speaker followed members’ lack of confidence on the ability of Luke to lead the Assembly.

He described the process that led to their purported sack as illegal, null and void as there were subsisting court orders even as the House rules and procedures were not duly and legally followed.

“In the first place no such action as declaring our seat vacant took place because there was no mace, the former Speaker did not follow due legislative procedure of being announced into the chamber by the Sergeant at Arms rather he came in through the back door.

“What happened in the House today was a normal legislative thing. We were supposed to sit on Tuesday, but yesterday (Sunday) we got notices that the sitting had been rescheduled for today because of the public holiday on Tuesday and nobody objected to that. Unfortunately this morning when I came to the House, the gate was barricaded and we were not allowed to go into the premises.”

“Moreover, the purported action was not in the order paper for today’s plenary. The two items in the order paper were the consideration of the appropriation bill sent to the House by Governor Udom Emmanuel

. . . Speaker Declares Lawmakers’ Seats Vacant

The sitting of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Uyo was held up for hours yesterday when thugs loyal to five members who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) invaded the complex.

It was learnt the aggrieved APC, lawmakers had to adopt the strategy in order to forestall their seats being declared vacant by the speaker, Mr Onofiok Luke.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the angry thugs led by the APC youths’ leader, Hon. Stephen Ntokekpo, were on a mission to disrupt the proceedings to prevent the speaker and other lawmakers from sitting to declare the seats of the defecting lawmakers vacant.

The offensive by the hoodlums, was however, stalled by the heavy presence of anti riot policemen, who threw teargas canisters to prevent them from entering the Assembly premises.

The speaker thereafter proceeded to hold the day’s plenary and was surprised to meet some of the APC lawmakers including Idongesit Ituen (Itu), who was already in the chambers with his thugs to disrupt the session.

It was gathered that the speaker, apparently furious over the APC lawmakers’ audacity to invade the hallowed chambers with his thugs, was said to have ordered his security details to dislodge Ituen, who resisted heavily, but the security details of the speaker hit him heavily in the mouth with gun butt, which followed with heavy bleeding.



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