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Senate passes resolution empowering the National Assembly to take over the Rivers State House of Assembly.
| July 25, 2013
Nigeria's Senate has passed a resolution that empowers the Senate and the House of Representatives (the National Assembly) to take over the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly. The resolution arose from consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government that investigated the crisis in Rivers State. The Senate also mandated that the Senate President, David Mark, should intervene in the crisis. The Senate committee was led by Senator Kabiru Gaya, Kano South, and it presented a 150-page report, 140 verbatim report and 19 video CDs as part of its findings and reported that it observed that the July 9 crisis in the Rivers State House of Assembly resulted from deep-rooted political discontent in the state. The committee also identified President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, as contributors to the crisis following their perceived undue interference with the political and security structure of the state. The Rivers state governor, Chibuike Amaechi, was also called out for what the Senate committee described as alleged high-handedness. The recommendations of the committee which were approved by the Senate include: * That the Inspector-General of Police should as a matter of urgency redeploy the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State, Mr. Joseph Mbu since his relationship with the Governor has broken down irretrievably. * That the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency take over the functions and duties of the Rivers State House of Assembly, pursuant to Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution(as amended) pending the resolution of the crisis and restoration of peace in Rivers State.”\ The Senate said that the take-over of the Rivers House of Assembly was in line with Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution which states, "At any time when any House of Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that state, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that state with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the state: Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the governor or the deputy governor of the state from office. The Committee's report also addressed the recent impeachment saga in the Rivers state House of Assembly, saying: “The Committee finds no evidence to support the claim by the five members of the Rivers State House of Assembly that the Speaker was properly impeached and Hon. Evans Bipi elected Speaker. The Senate President, David Mark, spoke after the recommendations were adopted warned that minority members of the Rivers State House of Assembly could not remove the speaker of the house without the majority vote. He said, “all we want is for peace to return to Rivers State. Let me add that the National Assembly will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as we all individually swore to do. This we will do at all times and at all cost. Let me leave no one in doubt that the impunity of the past remains in the past, and the past is gone for good.” “All that is left is for the proper lessons to be learnt from the past. Minority members of the Rivers State House of Assembly cannot remove and should therefore, never contemplate the impeachment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly or anyone else for that matter and should perish the thought if they ever harboured it. Our institutions of state must also uphold the Constitution at all times and must not in any way encourage the impression that impunity of the past is possible today. “This National Assembly, for the avoidance of doubt, would resist impunity and unconstitutionality. This is the stand of the Senate. And once more I must emphasise that we remain neutral and we want to see an end to the crisis in Rivers State.”

(1) Comment


"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."
Mazi J. O. Obasi    Ewing NJ, The United States of America.    July 30, 2013
What\'s is going on in the Garden City? With the barrages from the Executive and the legislative arms of the Federal Government it seems the State government is under a crisis of organogenesis proportions.

Can you tell us what it is, the indigenes of this God blessed state cannot in the name of brotherhood and Country, come around the table and resolve? Stop this infantile sibling rivalries and awaken to the real-politik of your backyard.

It is almost the dawn of 2015 and you are still relentlessly at each others throats. By the time anyone emerges from this local political \'carnage\' which has inherently obvious national implications, the proverbial level playing ground may have been stumped into an undulated mess. Please folks , we have grievier national situations to battle than this raucous events in a \'polygamous\' household.

Remember that whatever happens, you are still going to feed from the same table set by the the same Mathriach; the Rivers State government itself. Enough of this cat fights. ! JO.
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