From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
There was pandemonium yesterday at the premises of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA), following an attempt by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Innocent Lagi, to serve a court order restraining the assembly from grilling the chairman of the state electoral body.
The AG, who arrived the Assembly premises in a green Range Rover, was denied access to the complex by guards manning the gates who informed him that the Majority Leader of the House, Godiya Akwashiki (PDP, Nasarawa Eggon West) personally locked the entrance and left with the keys.
Our correspondent who was also by the gates when the AG arrived, saw Lagi, wielding two copies of the court order, made to scale the low perimeter fence surrounding the Assembly but was accosted by armed security men who attempted to pull him back.
After a brief altercation, Lagi jumped over into the Assembly complex but was soon accosted by security operatives who manhandled him back towards the gates before he was briefly held behind closed doors at the security post.
A commotion ensued after information got to the chamber of the Assembly, with the Majority Leader, Akwashiki and Francis Orogu (PDP, Keana), descending on the AG, as the Majority Leader attempts to exchange blows with the AG, also a former lawmaker.
Lagi was later whisked away to an unknown destination in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).
The AG who spoke to journalists shortly before he was taken away, said he was at the Assembly to serve the lawmakers copies of a court order restraining the legislators from summoning Dr. Abdullahi Modibbo Sallau, Chairman of NASIEC, to answer questions over the recently conducted local government elections.
Copies of the ex parte motion, alongside the order of interim injunction by Justice Suleiman Umar, the state Chief Judge, obtained by our correspondent, indicate that the state government sought the court to restrain the Speaker of the Assembly, the chairman of NASIEC, the Assembly and NASIEC, from interfering with the independence and powers of the NASIEC.
Addressing newsmen over the matter, Majority Leader Akwashiki, said it was appalling for the chief law officer of the state to be involved in such a “shameful act”, saying the motive was suspicious and would be thoroughly investigated.
“If the commissioner for justice would jump over the fence into the assembly then something is really wrong with this country. We don’t know his motive for jumping over the fence that is why we ordered his arrest and very soon we are going to invite the police commissioner to tell us what the motive is” he said.