The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Tuesday November 27, 2018, led a team of Security officers and youths, suspected to be PDP thugs, to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to dislodge a faction of the Assembly, led by the member representing Essien Udim State Constituency in the house, Hon Nse Ntuen, who had earlier taken over the house, and prevent them from sitting.
Governor Emmanuel, who arrived the Assembly a few minutes past 10 am, amidst sporadic gunfire by the security personnel that accompanied him to the assembly, headed straight to the chambers of the assembly. The gun-firing officers manhandled members of the Nse Ntuen faction, with several of them receiving severe wounds. The factional members of the assembly were reported to have scaled the fence of the assembly to escape the governor’s thugs and security aides.
The governor’s action, our reporter learnt, was to forestall a possible impeachment notice on him from the largely All Progressives Congress members of the Hon Nse Ntuen faction, who had earlier in the sitting before the arrival of the governor, suspended eleven PDP members of the house.
The governor, accompanied by members of his executive council ensured that the Hon Onofiok Luke’s faction, made up of the remaining PDP members of the assembly, sat in plenary. He later had a private audience with the embattled Speaker, Hon Onofiok Luke.
Gov. Udom was said to have proceeded to the House after his Commissioner for works, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen, had failed to stop the factional members of the house from sitting, as he and his team of policemen and Soldiers were rebuffed by the factional speaker and his members.
The Hon Nse Ntuen faction of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, had in their sitting, dissolved all the house standing committees, having suspended eleven members of the house.
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was thrown into crisis on Monday, November 19, 2018, when the Speaker, Hon Luke declared the seats of six members of the House elected on the platform of the PDP, who had defected to the All Progressives Congress. Announcing the declaration, Luke said he was acting on the provisions of Section 109 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and following the decision of an Uyo Division of the Federal High Court, empowering him to declare the seat of the member representing Itu State Constituency, Hon Idongesit Ituen vacant. The sacked members argued that their cases were pending in various courts, where they said they had obtained and served court injunctions on the Speaker pending the argument in their various applications. The speaker was said to have ignored all the pending cases and went ahead to declare the seats vacant.
The six members of the house, who had defected from the PDP to the APC later that day met in the Legislative chambers and impeached the Speaker, Hon Onofiok Luke.
A member of the All Progressives Congress in the state, Obong Michael Udo, described the governor’s invasion as “despicable, illogical and an unwarranted affront on the separation of power” in a democracy. Udo, cautioned the governor against throwing the entire state into a needless chaos in his second term desperation.
“Gov. Udom Emmanuel, should realize that we are practicing a democracy where the rule of law is paramount. He should understand that one action such as the one he embarked on today is capable of throwing the entire state into a needless chaos and anarchy. The reason for laws in any society is to avoid anarchy. The federal government should caution Gov. Emmanuel to allow the legislature settle whatever their problems may be and not to become part of the problem”, Obong Udo admonished.