Police seal Anambra House of Assembly

The Anambra State Police Command has sealed off the state House of Assembly complex till further notice, following a brawl at the entrance on Thursday.

Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, in a statement on Friday, said the sealing off took effect by 6 pm on Thursday.

Police operatives had on Thursday, teargassed lawmakers, staff and supporters of various factions of the assembly as tempers flared over the leadership tussle in the house.

The house became factionalised on Tuesday after 20 out of 30 lawmakers impeached Rita Maduagwu as speaker, replacing her with Ikem Uzoezie, who represents Aguata Constituency II.

But, backed by some state officials who are said to be close to Governor Willie Obiano, the impeached speaker later regained access into the chamber and held a session with 11 lawmakers.

She also described her impeachment as a “bundle of illegality”.

However, the new speaker, Uzoezie, on Wednesday, said Maduagwu’s impeachment was irrevocable.

Both speakers adjourned the sitting of the house till Thursday, November 15.

In a bid to prevent an outbreak of violence between both factions and their supporters the police cordoned off the complex.

Later, as supporters of both factions gathered at the entrance, the atmosphere became tense, forcing the police to disperse them with teargas.

After the situation was brought under control, the Uzoezie faction held a sitting with 25 members in attendance.

Later in the evening, the police sealed the complex, claiming that the leadership of the house in a letter requested it is sealed to forestall breakdown of law and order.

It was, however, silent on which faction’s leadership wrote to it.

“Sequel to the breaches of public peace at the Anambra State House of Assembly Complex on the 15th November 2018, the Leadership of the Assembly has requested for the Police to take over, seal off and secure the entire premises of the Assembly in an official letter to the Commissioner of Police.

“The Anambra State Police Command wishes to inform the general Public that it has sealed off the Assembly Complex with effect from 6:00 pm of Thursday 15th November 2018 as a proactive measure to avert a possible breakdown of law and order in the Assembly,” the statement read.

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