Nigeria's Rivers State Police Command reportedly disperse 22 lawmakers with teargas, who had come to the Assembly Complex to sit, following a court order yesterday that invalidated the appropriation of its functions by the National Assembly.
The House had suspended its sessions in July after a fracas during which five minority members said to be loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience attempted to sack the Speaker of the Assembly, who enjoys the support of 26 members.
The Police command sealed the Assembly premises thereafter.
Amidst reports of a plan by six members to
begin an impeachment proceedings against Governor Rotimi Amaechi, 22 of the 26 members said to be loyal to Governor Rotimi Amaechi, had converged at the Assembly today to sit in compliance with the court order. But the police barred them from entering the chambers.
The lawmakers pleaded fruitlessly with the police team to allow them access to perform their legislative functions.
When their pleadings appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, the lawmakers decided to commence sitting on the main road opposite the Assembly Complex after the leader of the Police team, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in-charge of Port Harcourt Area Command, Mr. Aliyu Garba, insisted that they must show him a written permission of the state the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu,who is said to take instructions from the president's wife.
However, the sitting brought to a halt after policemen fired several canisters of teargas at them, the aim being to disperse them. The police were reportedly armed to the teeth, with two armoured vehicles and 20 patrol cars.
The lawmakers scampered into safety.
Also affected by the tear-gas, were the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Hon. Tony Okocha, interim Chairman of APC in the state, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, chairmen of some local government council as well as journalists, who had come to cover the resumption of the House of Assembly.
Reacting to the prevention of the pro-Amaechi lawmakers from having access to the House of Assembly complex, the interim chairman of APC in the state, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said there was a plot by the police to sneak in the five anti-Amaechi lawmakers to carry out the duties of the state legislature.