Police refuse to reopen Enugu assembly, invite speaker

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The Enugu State Police Command has invited the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Eugene Odoh, over some allegations raised against Governor Sullivan Chime by a group of lawmakers who are seeking to remove him from office.

It was gathered that the invitation followed a petition sent to the police by the governor, who had denied the allegations.

Our correspondent learnt that the police specifically want Odoh to defend the allegation that the governor forged a N12bn supplementary budget in 2012.

Also invited by the police over the matter was a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state and former National Auditor of the party, Chief Ray Nnaji, who had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, seeking the investigation of several allegations bordering on official corruption against the governor.

The fresh development emerged even as the Enugu State House of Assembly remained locked four days after a Federal High Court in Enugu ordered the police to reopen the legislative complex.

The Assembly had been locked since May 5, 2015, when crisis erupted in the House, following the commencement of impeachment proceedings against Chime by 14 lawmakers led by Odoh.

Seven other legislators, who opposed the impeachment plot, removed Odoh as the Speaker and elected Chinedu Nwamba in his place.

Nwamba is currently enjoying the backing of the governor as well as that of the leadership of the PDP in the state, which had moved swiftly to congratulate him on his ‘emergence’ as the new speaker.

Addressing journalists in Enugu on Thursday, Odoh expressed reservations over the ‘invitation’ by the police, saying this could be a ploy to detain and “poison” him while he is at the police headquarters.

He said it was wrong for the police to wade into issues that emanated in the course of the constitutional functions of the House of Assembly.

Odoh, who explained that he just returned to Enugu after attending a speakers’ conference in Abuja on Tuesday, accused the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Abubakar Mohammed, of promoting illegality in the state.

He also expressed shock over the refusal of the police to reopen the House of Assembly despite an order of the court.

“As of this moment, the commissioner of police has not obeyed the order. Instead, the commissioner of police invited me in respect of a petition written by the governor; I may be detained and poisoned at the headquarters of the police command,” he said.

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