By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The embattled Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange, who was removed at a sitting of the house on Tuesday for alleged high-handedness, has called on the Police authorities in Abuja to move into the Assembly to restore law, order and integrity of the house.
Ikyange, who made the appeal yesterday in Makurdi, disclose that a formal petition would be lodged with the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, as soon as possible to avert the looming crisis in the state over the unconstitutional change of leadership in the state legislature.
The embattled former Speaker pointed out that the Tuesday sitting of the house, which purportedly removed him as speaker was illegal, adding that decisions in respect of the other offices said to have been taken by the 22 members present at the said sitting were null and void.
According to him, “The last sitting of the State House of Assembly held on July 10, 2018 under my speakership during which the House unanimously adjourned plenary to August 15, 2018. The House was not reconvened on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
“The House rules are very clear as to which authority can reconvene the Assembly. The House can only be reconvened by me, as the Speaker, or the Deputy Speaker, acting on my instructions.
“That was not the case as no authorised person reconvened the State House of Assembly on Tuesday, July 24 and, therefore, no business of my removal or any other business could have been legally conducted.”
He alleged that those who reconvened the House and conducted the illegal business did so with the sponsorship of the executive arm under Governor Samuel Ortom, who allegedly facilitated their entry into the Assembly through a backdoor that links the Government House to the Assembly.
Ikyange also said that the members who sat on Tuesday did not use the mace of the House which he claimed was in his custody; and, alleged that they imported a mace from Makurdi Local Government Legislative House.
He alleged that the Clerk to the House of Assembly, Dr. Tereseer Agena, procured the mace, which, according to him, “was illegal and did not confer any authority on the State House of Assembly sitting of Tuesday, July 24.”
Ikyange pointed out that the use of illegal mace was “a blatant criminal misrepresentation of the authority of the House and my purported removal; and, the election of a new speaker amounted to impersonation.”
22 out of the 30 members of the House had reconvened for a sitting on Tuesday purporting to have removed Ikyange as speaker and replaced him with Hon. Titus Uba (APC-Kyan Constituency) with Hon. Johnson Ahubi (PDP-Otukpo-Akpa constituency) elected as Deputy Speaker.