The Senate on Wednesday Mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to investigate the alleged invasion of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly by suspected thugs on Tuesday, PUNCH reports.
The committee led by a member of the APC from Zamfara North, Tijjani Kaura, is to report back to the Senate at plenary within 48 hours.
In giving the committee the mandate, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said the National Assembly should be interested wherever democracy was under threat.
“We were all here when this chamber was invaded. We cannot tolerate the invasion of the hallowed chamber of any legislative house. It is completely unacceptable.
“The Police Affairs Committee should find out what happened and report back to the Senate within 48 hours,” he directed.
The resolution followed the presentation made to the Senate by Bassey Akpan from Akwa Ibom North-East who reported the alleged invasion of the assembly by hired thugs.
According to Akpan, some suspected thugs had on Tuesday invade the state House of Assembly and disrupted activities at the complex.
Describing himself as an eyewitness, the senator said he had first-hand information of the invasion, having accompanied the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to the scene.
Akpan further claimed that the suspected hoodlums were allegedly led by a senior police officer in the state.
He accused the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo, of taking sides with the invaders whose mission he said was to truncate democracy in the state.
He said the police boss supported members of the All Progressives Congress who were in the minority in the House of Assembly to cause breakdown of law and order.
The Senate probe commenced just as a large crowd of Akwa Ibom women on Wednesday protested attempts by five members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to impeach the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel.
The women, who marched round the major streets of Uyo, the state capital, also condemned the alleged police involvement in the crisis rocking the state House of Assembly.
The protest of the women took place just as the Senate directed its Committee on Police Affairs to investigate the invasion of the House by the All Progressives Congress five lawmakers, who were allegedly accompanied by policemen.
There was confusion at the House of Assembly when the five APC lawmakers arrived at the assembly on Tuesday morning and attempted to impeach the governor.
The five lawmakers were legislators, whose seats were recently declared vacant by the Speaker of the House, Onofiok Luke. They included Nse Ntuen, representing Essien Udim State Constituency; Gabriel Toby (Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency); Idongesit Ituen, (Itu State Constituency); Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin State Constituency) and Victor Udofia representing Ikono State Constituency.
The governor, who later led his loyalists and the Peoples Democratic Party supporters to the assembly, foiled the attempt to impeach him.
On Wednesday, women led by the state Commissioner of Women Affairs, Mrs Gloria Edet, marched round major streets of Uyo and demanded the sack of the police commissioner.
The women, who were accompanied by the Peoples Democratic Party Women Leader in the state, Mrs Mmeme Akpabio, and a former Minister of Lands, Dr Akon Eyakenyi, arrived the assembly complex at 9am.
They displayed placards with various inscriptions, most of which expressed solidarity with the governor while some called for the immediate redeployment of the commissioner of police.
While addressing the crowd at the assembly complex, Edet said, “For the sake of peace in this state, we want the removal of the Commissioner of Police, Musa Kimo. We have always had peace, and we want that peace to continue.
“We cannot have a police force that will abet the level of illegality that we have witnessed in the House of Assembly. Introducing anything other than peace in Akwa Ibom is alien to our people.
“When there is crisis anywhere and women step in, there is always peace. This is why we have stepped in”, the commissioner for women affairs said.
Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Onofiok Luke, while addressing the women, urged them to continue to pray for peace and not be afraid but to rise at all times to defend the hard-won democracy.
He described the action of the five APC members of the House as “most scandalous desecration of the state legislature.”