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Thugs invade Kogi assembly, attack lawmakers, strip member

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Punch Newspaper
Suspected thugs invaded the Kogi State House of Assembly on Tuesday and attacked lawmakers and stripped  a member representing Igalamala/Odolu,  Elder Friday Makama, naked.

The security men attached to the House watched helplessly as members were thoroughly molested.

No sooner had the lawmakers started the day’s plenary than thugs numbering over 100 arrived in three Hilux vans and rushed into the chamber and started beating members.

Makama, who was billed to formally resume on Tuesday after the court declared his six months suspension void was severely beaten and stripped naked.

The thugs were also seen filming the beating.

Makama was suspended in February for six months by the House for taking the Assembly to court for giving extra-spending approval to Governor Yaya Bello when the workers were being owed salaries.

He, however, approached the state high court to challenge his suspension. The court declared his suspension null and void and ordered the leadership of the House to reinstate the lawmaker.

Makama, who was in the assembly for the first time after he was suspended, was the major target of the attackers described by observers as supporters of the governor and the leadership of the House.

As soon as they entered the complex they disrupted the plenary and beat up any member that attempted to stop them.

Security personnel attached to the House watched helplessly  while the invasion lasted.

The Speaker,  Imam Umar Ahmed, other lawmakers and security aides attached to the principal officers of the House took to their heels to escape being beaten by the rampaging thugs.

Some of them in a bid to escape, scaled the windows of the assembly while journalists watching proceedings from the gallery  scampered to safety by jumping the fence of the Assembly complex.

Efforts to speak with Makama who was hurriedly rushed into a car by a handful of his supporters failed as he was said to have travelled out of the state after the attack.

Unconfirmed sources said he was rushed to an unnamed hospital.

Speaking on the development, the Speaker expressed shock over the invasion, describing it as an act of hooliganism, which he noted, had no place in politics.

He said that the Assembly would set up its own investigative panel to unravel the identities of the people behind the invasion.

Meanwhile, the state governor has condemned the invasion of the assembly.

Bello said even though what happened was purely an internal affair of the legislature which the executive should not be involved in, his administration would not condone any act of thuggery.

The governor added that anyone found to have been involved in the invasion would be made to face the full weight of the law.

Speaking through his Director General, Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, the governor ordered his Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara (retd.), to  liaise with security operatives to ensure that perpetrators were brought to book.

Efforts to speak with the Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, were futile as he was said to be in a meeting with the governor as of the time of filing this report.
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