March 23, 2023
The Kogi House of Assembly on Thursday suspended nine lawmakers over alleged acts of terrorism and electoral violence during Saturday’s House of Assembly election in the state.
The suspended lawmakers are Muktar Bajeh (Majority leader -Okehi), Daniya Ranyi (Bassa), Suleiman Attajachi (Idah), Bello Hassan (Ajaokuta) and Edoko Moses-Ododo (Ibaji).
Others are Abubakar Tanko (Kogi/Koto), Atabor Cosmas-Llemona (Igalamela/Odolu) Kilani Olusola-Olumo (Ijumu) and Mohammed Lawi-Ahmed (Okene 1),
They were alleged to have to breached the conduct of March 18 House of Assembly elections in the state.
The suspension of the lawmakers was sequel to a letter received from the Gov. Yahaya Bello dated March 23.
Also, another letter dated March 22, was from the state leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) demanding for the suspension of seven local government chairmen for alleged act of electoral violence.
While Bello’s letter harped on the suspended lawmakers, the second letter written and signed by the state APC Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, was on the suspended council chairmen.
They were asked to be investigated by the House Adhoc Committee headed by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Alfa Rabiu-Momoh.
The APC Chairman asked for the suspension of seven Local Government Chairmen of Bassa with his Vice, Ogorimagogo with his Vice, Yagba West, Ibaji, Kabba/Bunu, Ajaokuta and Adavi.
The third letter received by the House was a petition from nine out of 10 councillors of Lokoja LGA, asking for the investigation of the Council Chairman, Alhaji Dansabe Muhammed, over an alleged misappropriation of about N150 million revenue allocations received by the council.
On deliberations, the House also suspended the chairman and the Leader of the legislative Arm to give room for smooth investigation of the matter raised by the councillors.
The speaker of the House, Matthew Kolawale, while speaking on the suspended colleagues, described their involvement in “terrorism and electoral violence’’ as “very unfortunate” and “uncalled.”
Contributing to the debate on the allegations levelled against the lawmakers, the Deputy Speaker, from Ankpa 2 state constituency, supported the suspension of lawmakers over the said allegations.
“I’m in strong support of their suspension simply because the state is bigger than any personal interest more so that lawmakers should not be found contravening the laws, which they themselves made,” Rabiu-Momoh said.
Also Mr Collins Musa, Omala State Constituency, aligned himself with the Deputy Speaker, arguing that issue that bothers on terrorism was too grave to sweep under the carpet and asked for thorough investigation to get to the root of the matter.
Nevertheless, the House gave two weeks to a seven-man adhoc committee headed by the deputy speaker and Mr Bayero Jiya, as secretary within which to conduct and complete its findings and report back to it.
The House, therefore, adjourned its sitting to March 28. (NAN)