HomeNEWSPolice arrest, release Plateau Speaker, 11 others

Police arrest, release Plateau Speaker, 11 others

Embattled Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly, Nuhu Ayuba Abok and 11 other members of the House, were yesterday whisked away from the Assembly Complex by security operatives.

They were later released after some hours. One of the member confirmed to journalists that they were dropped off at “a certain location” within the Jos metropolis.

The security team led by the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ebuka and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Commandant, Alexander Barunde had profiled the lawmakers before leading them into police vehicles.

Those whisked away were minority leader, Peter Gyendeng; deputy minority leader, Philip Dasun; Dalyop Fom;  Daniel Nanbolistic;  Pirglfa Tyem; Sochang Zintim; Musa Aga;  Bala Fwangji and Henry Longs.

Last week, six members of the House had allegedly impeached Abok and replaced him with Yakubu Sanda while 14 members of the House reconvened and suspended the  new speaker with the six members. They also declared Abok as authentic speaker.

However, residents of Plateau, woke up yesterday to be greeted with news of pandemonium at the Assembly, as Abok and lawmakers loyal to him had entered the complex and held an executive session in his office preparatory for a sitting. As this was going on, some youths staged a protest in front of the Assembly complex in support of Abok.

Ebuka, the police boss, told journalists after picking up the lawmakers that they were going to another venue to continue with discussions they started in the speaker’s office. The police officer said the lawmakers were not under arrest and assured of their safety. He said they would address the press when the discussions were concluded.

The embattled speaker said he would also address journalists at the end of the meeting.

The youths who were protesting in front of the complex in his support were later dispersed with tear-gas by security personnel. 

A source told Daily Sun that Governor Lalong had intervened in the crisis by requesting both Abok and Sanda to step down for the House to elect a new leader.

Abok and members behind him have, however, resisted plots to have him vacate the position saying the governor had no right to interfere in matters affecting the House.

Following the arrest of Abok and his loyalists, the new Speaker, Sanda, reconvened with 11 members.

“We had a sitting last week where Abok was impeach by 16 out of 24 members of the House.

“Thirteen members were present during the sitting contrary to the stories going round that we were six while three members signed the impeachment notice to get the require two-third majority. The former Speaker, Nuhu Abok, has congratulated me and I want to inform Plateau people that I am the new Speaker.”

However, a source told our reporter that Governor Lalong has intervened in the leadership crisis and had requested that both Abok and Sanda step aside and allow the House to elect a new speaker.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers in a video recorded in the chamber of the House and made available to journalists, have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and Plateau elders to end what they call “the impunity and the siege on the Assembly by security personnel.”

Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Philip Dasun, said Abok remained the speaker.

“We the 12 members are supporting Abok Ayuba, the Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, that was duly elected by constitutional provision. As you can see his picture is still on the wall not tampered with, his name tag is still intact, the mace is still here to tell you that there was only an attempted impeachment, our speaker was not impeached, whatsoever. We are only calling for attention from the governor of this state to disregard any illegal speaker presented to him and authorise the legitimacy of the speaker unanimously voted by 24 members of this Assembly. We are calling on government to reinstate our speaker, he has been firm, he has been dogged and he stood for the people of Plateau.”

Dasun, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Communication, called on all well meaning Nigerians to intervene in the situation.

He thanked civil society organisations, youths, the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) and the Jama’atul  Nasri Islam(JNI) for their support.

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