From Rejoice Ojodubiun, Lokoja
The Kogi House of Assembly was again snubbed by top government officials, summoned to appear before the lawmakers.
They include the Accountant General and the Head of Service, among others.
But another drama played out at the door to the press gallery. Again, journalists were prevented from covering proceedings of the House this Thursday..
Same scenario played out Wednesday at the Assembly Complex.
The journalists, who were in the assembly to witness the sitting were sent back by a security operative attached to the entrance of the chambers.
Newsmen had gone to the Assembly to witness the presentations of the Head of Service, the commissioner for finance, the accountant general of the state and the chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) that were summoned over the protracted staff verification exercise in the state.
The security operative, who held the key of the entrance to the gallery, said he could not open the door as a principal officer had directed that nobody should enter.
All efforts and plea to make the officer see reason and allow the journalists to enter were rebuffed as he said he was acting on “order from above”.
While the arguments at the entrance lasted, a staff member of the assembly pleaded with the journalists and offered to meet with the Sergeant-at-Arms on their behalf.
However, when the member of staff returned, he said the Sergeant-at-Arms insisted that the order was that nobody should be allowed inside during the sitting.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor, Femi Olugbemi, could not be reached for his intervention as the calls put through on his mobile phone were not answered.
Some newsmen that were at the assembly on Wednesday were also turned back and prevented from gaining entrance into the gallery.
The lawmakers had summoned officials of the state government to explain the latest development on the staff screening, which had prompted the journalists to besiege the assembly complex.
It would be recalled that hoodlums had had free access to the Assembly without being checked about three weeks ago when they invaded the complex prior to the change of leadership in the House.
On the same day, the crew of Silverbird Television was chased out by the lawmakers following the observation raised by Hon. Hassan Abdullahi, member representing Ajaokuta state constituency.