Benue Assemblymen jump fence, suspend impeached speaker
Members of the Benue House of Assembly were caught in several dramas Friday, with some jumping the high perimeter fence surrounding the Assembly complex and some of them later shifting their parliamentary session to the old Banquet Hall of the Government House, where they decided to suspend the impeached Speaker.
Both the impeached speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange (APC Ushongo)and his successor, Titus Ubah, (APC Kyaan) were at the premises, both laying claim to the speakership.
It was reported that supporters of both groups forced their way into the assembly complex jumping its high walls.
Both groups were, however, prevented from gaining entrance into the main lobby of the Assembly complex to hold their session.
Benue Assemblymen discussing inside the Assembly complex
Later, 19 members of the assembly met at the old Banquet Hall of the Benue State Government House Makurdi and suspended the impeached speaker. Mr Terkimbi Ikyange for six months.
The assemblymen shifted their plenary to the venue after being barred from the Assembly complex by the police.
Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) ASP Moses Yamu, failed as he refused to either pick his calls or reply to text messages on the matter.
NAN recalls that Ikyange was removed by 21 out of 30 members of the House on July 24 during an emergency sitting.
The Assembly had been adjournment from July 10 to Aug.15.
Ikyange had told NAN that as far as he was concerned, he still remains the speaker since the right procedure was not followed in the impeachment process.
He said since the House was under adjournment, there were only two principal officers that could reconvene it, disclosing that the two were the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
According to him, none of the two presiding officers reconvened the House.
On the other hand, the other lawmakers loyal to the new speaker quoted the Standing Rules of the House to justify their action, they had claimed that in the absence of the two presiding officers, they could elect a Pro- Tempo speaker to preside.