Nasarawa lawmakers exchange blows at plenary


4 Apr 2016

Nasarawa lawmakers exchange blows at plenary

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Nasarawa lawmakers exchange blows at plenary

Lawmakers of the Nasarawa state house of assembly engaged in a free-for-all at plenary on Monday.

The disagreement broke out as a result of the appointment of 11 sole administrators by Tanko Al-Makura, governor of the state.

Announcing the appointments on Saturday, Al-Makura explained that the tenures of 11 local government areas (LGAs) chairmen had elapsed and the “doctrine of necessity” had to be invoked to swear in sole administrators.

He said this was to avoid vacuum at the LGAs pending the conduct of council elections.

Subsequently, they were sworn in at the conference hall of the government house on Monday.

However, the action did not go down well with a faction of the assembly, which accused the governor of illegality.

Though the governor gave the assurance that election would be conducted as soon as possible, those opposed to his action demanded that the election should be conducted without any delay.

Trouble started when Tanko Tunga, majority leader, moved a motion for the suspension of six members for challenging the action of the governor.

The six members expressed reservation over this, accusing their colleagues of receiving financial inducement from the governor.

Suddenly, the atmosphere became charged and the members threw caution to the wind. While some took custody of the mace, others engaged in fisticuffs, with objects flying around the chamber.

One of the lawmakers had his clothes torn in the melee that ensued. It took the intervention of the police to restore normalcy.

After normalcy was restored, plenary was adjourned. But some lawmakers went into another sitting and moved the motion to suspend six of their colleagues indefinitely.

Makpa Malla, one of the suspended lawmakers, said they would challenge the suspension in court.

He described the appointment of the sole administrators as illegal, citing section 7 sub-section 1 of the constitution to buttress his claim.

Malla said the house could not fold its hands and watch illegality thrive in the state.

“We are kicking against the appointment of the sole administrators which only existed in military era and as respecters of the rule of law, we must ensure that the executive also respect the rule of law,” he said.

But Abubakar Kana, also a lawmaker, disagreed with Malla, saying there was no law guiding the operation of the sole administrators.

“The sole administrators are standing on what law? Who is now determining the salaries of the sole administrators and their tenure and if the sole administrators commit an offence, what laws can the state use to punish them?” he asked.

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