Edo Assembly crisis: Police prosecute 37 thugs in BeninLatest News, News, Politics Friday, June 13th, 2014
IGNATIUS OKPARA, Benin
The Edo State Police Command on Thursday disclosed that it has begun the prosecution of a total of 37 suspected political thugs linked to the violence that took place during the three days political war at the state House of Assembly.
A statement signed by the acting police public Relations officer PPRO, of the command, Noble Uwoh, a Deputy Superintendent of Police DSP, made available to newsmen in Benin, said the suspects were arraigned on Tuesday in a Benin Magistrates court.
According to him, they were charged for offences ranging from conspiracy, riotous act to unlawful assembly, which could cause the breach of the peace.
The command image maker further alleged that the suspects were arrested with five cutlasses, one long axe, broken bottles and stones used as missiles during the feud, adding that they were however, granted bail.
“A political crisis rocked the Edo State House of Assembly over issues bordering on suspension and counter suspension, and In this state of confusion, some political thugs besieged the House with a view to gaining entry into the Assembly complex.
“Policemen deployed to the House to maintain law and order arrested 37 suspects with five cutlasses, one long axe, broken bottles and stones used as missiles,” the statement read in part.
However, the police command has warned all political thugs and their godfathers to refrain from thuggery as such criminal acts would not be tolerated if any one is apprehended.
The command also advised the people of the state to be law-abiding and go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation.
In a related development, All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly yesterday, urged the Inspector General of Police to probe the identity of the policemen who allegedly aided and abetted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers including the four suspended members in gaining entrance into the chamber of the Assembly on Wednesday
They also urged the police authorities to investigate the fake mace allegedly stolen and paraded by the PDP members during the attempted plenary sitting.
Chairman of House Committee on Information, Youth and Sports, Kabiru Adjoto, who briefed journalists, noted that the Assembly had one original mace and a duplicated one during the 4th Assembly, saying they were dumbfounded on Wednesday to discover that the mace the APC members confiscated from the PDP members was actually the duplicated mace stolen from where it was kept.
Fracas erupted at the hallow chambers of the State House of Assembly on Wednesday morning when the 15 APC law makers led by the Speaker, Rt Hon Uyi Igbe clashed with their PDP counterparts who already gained entrance into the chamber as early as 6am over who preside over the plenary as Speaker.
Commending the State Commissioner of Police, Folunso Adebanjo, the Assistant Inspector General of police for their prompt intervention at arresting the ugly development, Adjoto said the PDP law makers who stormed the Assembly as early as 6am were aided by heavily armed mobile policemen who forcibly broke the entrance door and gained entrance into the hallow chambers in an attempt to sit
‘’We don’t know if these ones are Nigerian police or not but our appeal is that the Nigeria police is Nigeria police, they are to protect the public, the Nigeria police is not PDP police, the Nigeria police is not APC police, they are police for Nigerians and in a situation like this one we expect that they will be neutral, not supporting and make sure there is no break down of law and order but what happened yesterday beat our imagination, how the police were able to help them have access to the chambers’’
Meanwhile, the four suspended law makers who were restrained by a Benin High Court from going to the Assembly premises have resolved to attend Monday sitting of the Assembly along with their other PDP counterparts.
They argued that as members elected by their constituents to represent them, they have a duty to attend the Assembly’s sittings.
On the controversial mace they used for their sitting last Wednesday, spokesman of the group, Hon. Emmanuel Okoduwa said it was given to them by the Sergeant-at Arms
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