*insists Maduagwu is now history
* wants Obiano to respect separation of powers
From Chuks Moses, Awka
Members of the Anambra state House of Assembly have dragged Gov Willie Obiano, the State Commissioner of Police, Garba Umar, and others to court for the continuous sealing off of the Assembly complex.
The Speaker, Ikem Uzoezie, who spoke to journalists described as mere wishful thinking anyone contemplating that the former Speaker, Rita Maduagwu, would ever be Speaker of the Assembly again.
According to him, “nothing would revert the impeachment of Maduagwu that was carried out on 13th of November by no fewer than 25 out of the 30 members of the House.” She was accused of highhandedness, incompetence, financial impropriety and gross misconduct.
He described the sealing of the State Assembly complex by the police on the instructions of the state government as “executive lawlessness, recklessness and madness”.
The State’s lawmakers, he admitted must be liberated from being stooges to the executive arm, hence the lawsuit against the police commissioner and Governor.
He described the involvement of the Police as illegal and unlawful, adding that it has already been brought to the notice of the Inspector General of Police(IGP)
Hear Uzoezie, “The police are well aware that what they are doing is illegal. We’ve drawn the attention of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the Legislative Activities Act 2017 that was assented to by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, telling them that their action is unconstitutional.
“That their action is an attack on the institution of democracy and that there is a jail term to it if they so persist to seal the complex.
“By Monday, our processes will be in court. We have briefed our lawyers on what to do. On Monday, both the police and the executive will meet us in court.
“We only require basic police presence to safeguard government property and not sealing off of our premises and restrict our members and staff from having access to their offices and workplaces which we find so disheartening at this point in time”.
He said his group had also written to the National Assembly (NASS) drawing its attention to the police action in Anambra, believing that the NASS would intervene and stop the invasion of the state assemblies under any form or guise.
The Speaker, while calling on the people of the state to call the police, the governor and his aides to order over their meddlesomeness in the State Assembly, vowed that nothing would make the impeached Speaker to return to the position.
He wondered whether any police or security was needed or brought in when she was chosen. More so whether she or her backers see the office as her birthright.
Emphasizing, Uzoezie said, “This is third and last time. Two times in the past the governor intervened. No she has been impeached. There is no going back; no further remedy or intervention. Like the Bible says, what’s written is written. The only thing left to her now is to manage her remaining days in the Assembly as a bonafide member, just like all of us”, he added.
Maduagwu in her reaction described her impeachment as a “bundle illegality” that fell short of the constitutional requirements for such action to succeed.
She maintained that her office and position remained sacrosanct and that nobody can remove her because she did not commit any offence. She has been away since Nov 13, 2018 and has not been seen in Awka since.
Other members who spoke to journalists urged Gov Obiano to caution himself, taken a lesson from the Judiciary and respect the sanctity of the trinity of separation of powers.