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Crisis in Rivers State House of Assembly - Lawmakers fight over efforts to impeach the Speaker of the house - (Video)
| July 10, 2013
An attempt to impeach the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree, resulted in an embarrasing free-for-all fight between lawmakers who support the governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and those who are against him. Reports say that five members of the House of Assembly, who are against the governor, were present at the House of Assembly as early as 8am on Tuesday, waiting for the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree, and his Deputy, Mr. Leyii Kwanee, to arrive. When the Speaker did not arrive, the five anti-Amaechi members are said to have produced a fake mace and decided to take charge of the sitting. One of the anti-Amaechi lawmakers, Mr. Kelechi Wogu, then moved a motion for Amaechree’s removal as the Speaker and this led to the the pro-Amaechi lawmakers to leave to inform the governor. Before they returned, the five anti-Amaechi members of the Assembly had impeached Amachree for ineptitude and elected Evans Bipi as the new speaker of the house. The representative of Port Harcourt III Constituency, Victor Ihunwo, was sitting on the speaker’s chair and conducted the session. While Evans Bipi was giving his acceptance speech, the governor, other lawmakers and security men arrived at the Assembly and the situation degenerated into a free-for-all between the opposing camps. In the videoi, a security operative can also be seen attacking one of the lawmakers. The governor ordered the arrest of the five lawmakers who he accused of fermenting trouble in the House but he was ignored by the policemen present. After a few minutes, the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers left the chamber of the Assembly and the House later sat with the original Speaker and the Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, presented a document for the amendment of the 2013 Budget to the House. Reacting to the incident at the House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Otelemaba Amachree said: “As far as this House is concerned, the leadership of the House has not changed. I am the speaker of Rivers House of Assembly and all the other officers and the clerk are here with me. The leadership of the House is intact and what Evans Bipi told you is pure fallacy, lie. “For the House to impeach the speaker, two-thirds of the members must agree. Now, count how many members that are with me here. We are 23 members here; you can count us. No mace was brought into the House. “When we get to the bridge, we will know how to cross it. But every member knows that we have rules and regulations that guide us in our conduct. I will not say anything yet on the attempt to impeach me, but the leadership and members of the House will meet and decide on that. “I do not know where the rumour of attempt to impeach Governor Amaechi is coming from. We have just finished our sitting. There was no attempt as far as we are concerned to impeach me or anybody. We are even shocked to hear that. It is not true. Look at us. Can five members sit to impeach the speaker? “We are about 27 members here. We do not know what their aims were, but today, in fact, we did not know there would be chaos in the House. So, we went to the House as usual and we were exchanging pleasantries before Evans Bipi attacked me and the leader of the House. Then Hon. Chinda joined him. But we quickly arrested the situation and started our deliberations. “It is not compulsory that every member must be present at our sitting everyday. Some obtained permission like the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tonye Harry, who is in Paris, France for a conference. Three others did not attend today’s sitting, but they also obtained permission. There was a kind of chaos before we sat today.” He also spoke about the role of the police in the incident, saying “I am so surprised and shocked because yesterday, I officially directed the Clerk of the House to write the Commissioner of Police for security, because of what happened on May 6, when some hoodlums invaded the Assembly. “We did not want a repeat of that. So, I directed the Clerk to write to the commissioner of police and also the Brigade Commander, but to my greatest surprise, I did not see one single soldier in the Assembly. “The policemen I saw were acting funny. One of my colleagues was even beaten by the police. The computers in the hallowed chambers were all destroyed by the five honourable members (lawmakers). “In that hallowed chambers, honourable members can do anything there. It happens in every parliament. What we are concerned about is for a member to bring in hoodlums to attack his fellow members. As colleagues, we can fight in the chambers, but outside the chambers, it is unfortunate that the police will also be there and watch hoodlums attack members. “As a House, we will look into it, but we do not have right over the police. What we will do is that we will write to the National Assembly. We will do a presentation or we will send a formal complaint to the National Assembly. The House will continue to sit, but for now, we have adjourned sine die, but we can reconvene anytime. “The governor does not have the right to spend money or take money from one sub-head to another. He has to ask for approval and that was what he did today.”

(5) Comment


Comments

"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
wisdom onungwe    port harcourt,     July 11, 2013
Arrogance brings confusion nd violence 2 the victim Amaechi arrogancy is makin him feel a hot wrath. A governor dat is in trouble wit brodas is a traitor,

Amaechi said b4 nw dat nyisi wike was a betrayer nt knwin dat he is even da betrayer
Emmanuel Augustine    portharcourt, andoni, ngo town, nigeria    July 11, 2013
To me am highly disappointed when i saw the news of what happen in the house of asemly on tuesday. imagine our leader who are incharge of the welfare of our state rivers state, now fighting each other and trying to impeach other over nothing of acuse. It is very shameful and a disgrace to our people in rivers state mostly portharcourt citiizens. This is totally abuse of power to the extent of fighting in the chamber leading to the dameging of computer, maybe becouse is not their own money use in buying those system so they will do any how they like, to end it all the impeachment of the speaker to the house is wrong he most be reinstalled as the speaker. please rivers leader do the right thing and stop disgracing us in our own state
chidube Godswish    Omoku, Nigeria    July 11, 2013
Which ever source the five power corrupted members got their mandate and advice should take the glorious turn over as a lesson and stop instigating problems in Rivers state. God intervention and care will not allow anyone or group of people elsewhere to cause civil war amongst innocent Rivers State citizen because of their selfish desires. I hope our Reputable Governor will take a serious measures to see those five law makers face their mistake and deceit.

God will protect the RSHA Speaker, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and Every Government Official. Thanks
Micheal Joseph    Akwanga, Nigeria    July 10, 2013
The crisis that took place at the River\'s state house of assembly, was infact a complete, and a total madness, which can be say to be a public display of imcompetency of all the people involved on that incident which can only result to a vast national disgrace, because they\'ve all publcize thier private feelings for each other which is not in hermony with the Nigerian contitution, and which is also an act of promoting their own selfish desires istead of maintainance of peace, oder and the examplary habit of a good leadership in the federal republic of Nigeria so, here-by beseech the governor of river state to take a mature step toward asessing, and declaring his final judgement on this incident.
Jane Opara    Port Harcourt, Nigeria    July 10, 2013
Its really annoying the current mis happeninngs at the house of assembly. Our leaders should know that they are just nothing but a disappointment to the people.

I speak personally to the Ikewerre community, when will they understand that they need to unite and make life better for themselves. I once again ask is it worth it? Is it now a thing of absolute power corrupts absolutely?
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