Confusion reigned yesterday in the Niger State House of Assembly complex in Minna as lawmakers broke the keys used by the police to lock the gate into the Assembly in order to stop the legislators’ alleged threat to impeach the state Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu.
The police were said to have locked up the gate to the complex to foil the lawmakers bid to enter the chambers of the Assembly and stop the staff from going in or coming out of the House.
The move by the police, it was learnt, was to prevent the members from forming a quorum to move for the impeachment of the governor.
Some of the members of the assembly, who were already in the chamber, stormed the gate and ordered the most senior officer, guarding the gate, to open it for their colleagues, who were locked out.
But the police officer, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, whose name could not be ascertained, said he was not with the keys of the gate.
The lawmakers, after their effort to persuade the DSP to open the gate for those locked out failed to yield result, proceeded to break the padlock.
“Are we prisoners? Did we beat anyone? Did we cause riot? Why should you lock us in? These people are trying to create trouble when there is no trouble,” some of the members queried.
Nineteen of the 25 members of the assembly who gained access into the assembly complex went ahead to impeach the Speaker, Hon. Adamu Usman.
The house also unanimously elected Hon. Isah Mohammed Kawu as the new Speaker.
Kawu was first elected Speaker in 2012 but was impeached after one legislative week.
In his acceptance speech, the new Speaker commended his colleagues for honour done him.
He also called for people’s understanding and appealed that no erroneous meaning be read to the change in leadership of the house.
Also impeached are Deputy Speaker, Hon. Abdulraham Bala Gambo, Majority leader, Hon. Haruna Labaran and Chief Whip, Hon. Abdullahi Lawal.
The lawmakers complained of non-payment of severance allowances and payment of half salary since February this year.
The state government is alleged to be owing each member of the Assembly about N18m, though this figure could not be independently verified.
When contacted the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Amore said Police were on ground to forestall breakdown of law and order.