Police vacate Akwa Ibom Assembly

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The Police on Friday ended their siege on the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly with all entrances to the complex which had been barricaded since Wednesday morning now open.

The new development comes less than 24 hours after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki ordered the police to vacate the premises and allow legislators to access their chambers.

“The parliamentarians should still have access to the chambers there, or in any part of the country where we have a parliament. The police should vacate but still provide the necessary security,” Saraki said during the senate plenary on Thursday.

The State Assembly had been under siege by armed police personnel since Wednesday following a crisis that erupted on Monday.

The rift in the House started when the Speaker, Onofiok Luke, declared the seats of five lawmakers who had defected from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the All Progressives Congress, APC, vacant, a situation which later led to suspected thugs disrupting plenary.

The five sacked lawmakers later met to remove Luke as speaker. They elected one of them, Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim State Constituency) to replace him.

During plenary on Thursday, Senator Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North East) said the closure of the House of Assembly was preventing the lawmakers from accessing their offices and the chamber.

The Senate President also mandated its Committee on Police Affairs to investigate the sealing of the Assembly and report back within two days.

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