The House of Representatives and the Senate on Wednesday, voted for the National Assembly (NASS) to assume the legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly, according to the Daily Times, even as the crisis dominated minister’s pre-Federal Executive Council (FEC) discussions at the Presidential Villa.
This power being exercised by the National Assembly is pursuant to S.11(4) of the 1999 constitution, which says,
11. (1) The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part therefore with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing of such supplies and service as may be designed by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services.
(4) At any time when any House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that State with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the State:
Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.
This followed the ongoing political crisis in the state that has made it practically impossible for the state lawmakers to discharge their constitutional rights.
The House, during its session Wednesday also directed the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Abubakar Mohammed, to redeploy the Rivers State Commissioner of Police over his questionable role in the crisis in state.
Although the Senate appeared divided over the matter, the move by the two chambers to assume the law-making role of the State House of Assembly is a direct consequence of Tuesday’s fracas in the state House of Assembly in which five anti-Amaechi lawmakers invaded the hallowed chambers and ‘impeached’ the Speaker, Hon. Otelemaba Amachree.
They also allegedly brought in thugs who beat up a number of pro-Amaechi lawmakers including leader of the House, Hon. Chidi Lloyd.
Meanwhile, the crisis at the Rivers State House of Assembly in Port Harcourt was the subject of discussion among Ministers shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House, Wednesday.
A video recording of the disgraceful display by the Law makers is available on this site and has gone viral.