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Anambra Assembly Crisis: Police Lock Out Factional lawmakers

The police in Anambra State on Thursday locked the gates of the State House of Assembly against the lawmakers.

The lawmakers, made up of those who purportedly impeached the Speaker of the House, Rita Maduagwu on November 13, were stopped at the gate of the complex and were asked to leave from there.

No fewer than 200 policemen had barricaded the entrance to the legislative complex as from 8am on Thursday.

Efforts by the factional Speaker, Ikem Uzoezie and his group to persuade the police for about two hours to let them in to the complex failed.

Speaking to journalists, Uzozie decried the continued sealing of the State House of Assembly complex by the police, describing it as unconstitutional and affront to democracy.

About 20 out of the 30 members of the House had on November 13 impeached Maduagwu for alleged financial impropriety, highhandedness, incompetence and gross misconduct.

Maduagwu who later gained access to the chamber, presided over a session with 11 members of the house and described her impeachment as a bundle of illegality.

The State government had openly shown support to Maduagwu and asked the parallel members of the house to sheathe their swords, all to no avail.

When contacted on the telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed that the lawmakers were denied entrance into the legislative complex.

He said the police action was sequel to an application from the leadership of the House to protect the complex.

He said: “We had earlier issued a press statement notifying the public of sealing of the Assembly. We stand on that press statement.”

“What we did is called proactive measure to protect the place and prevent breach of law and order. The world over, proactive measure for crime prevention is preferred to reactionary measures,” Mohammed said.