Benue Assembly Suspends Former Speaker Ikyange
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
Members of the Benue State House of Assembly, BSHA, has suspended the former Speaker, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange from the house for the period of six months.
The suspension took place during a plenary which held at the Old Banquet Hall of Government House, Makurdi, after members who reported for work, Friday morning, to carry out their legislative duties, were barricaded from accessing the Assembly complex by security officers.
Embattled Ikyange was suspended for utterances he made which the members claim is capable of dragging the image of the House through the mud.
Speaking to newsmen after their sitting, the Adhoc Chairman on Information, Hon. Paul Biam said 22 members of the house had passed a vote of no confidence on the former speaker after which he was removed.
He also said allegations of high handedness and impropriety were made on the former speaker and it was obvious that the degree of high handedness could no longer be contained by the 22 members.
“It was baffling that after due diligence, the former speaker went on air debunking and saying that his impeachment was invalid and that he was still the speaker of the BSHOA.
“This has occasioned his suspension because he has touched on the sensibilities of more than 2/3 members of the house and it is against the code of conduct and privileges attached to members of the house.”
Hon. Biam stated that the action does not stop with the former speaker alone but warned that any other member who carries on in the same direction will face the same consequences. “It is not personal. It is about the institution and the procedure and above all, the legality of it all is that we are covered by the constitution of the federal republic.
Earlier during their deliberations, the new majority leader, Hon. Avine Agbum, representing Makurdi North had moved the motion for the suspension of the former speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange for six months and was seconded by the deputy Speaker Hon. Egli Johnson.
Hon. Richard Ujege from Konshisha also comdemned the use of force on members of the state assembly saying the act has no resemblance of democracy being practiced in America.
He stated that in a democracy, people should be given a free hand to operate and called on the international community to watch what is happening in Benue state.
“We are not safe here and we will rise up and say no to this impunity. The president should take proactive measures to stop this national embarrassment”.
Other members including the new speaker who narrated their ordeal and embarrassment in the hands of the security officers early hours of Friday also accused the former speaker, Ikyange of complicity in the drama demanding that the Police must explain their actions.
In his ruling, the new Speaker, Titus Uba suspended the former speaker Ikyange from legislative duties for six months just as the house directed the clerk to write to the Commissioner of Police to explain the reasons for barricading the assembly complex.
They also ordered that the CP should immediately vacate the officers who obviously were not there to ensure the security of the members.
During the plenary also, Hon. Joseph Tor Aye from Logo decamped from Labour party to the PDP. He said he was expelled from his party and since he is supposed to be a member of a party to retain his position, he had sought and acquire the membership of the PDP.
The house adjourned to 21 August 2018.
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