The Senate considered and adopted a report at plenary declared yesterday over the crisis at the Rivers State House of Assembly on July 9, 2013.
The lawmakers described the crisis as the expression of deep-rooted political crisis occasioned by the alleged highhandedness of Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi and the perceived undue interference with the political and security structure of the state by President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience and the national hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Senate in its report also called on the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Abubakar, to “immediately” redeploy the commissioner of police, Rivers State command, Mr Joseph Mbu, since, according to the federal lawmakers, “his relationship with the governor has broken down irretrievably”.
“Mbu has refused to cooperate with the governor, Chibuike Amaechi, on matters of security even though the governor is the chief security officer of the state,” the report observed.
It also faulted the impeachment of the Rivers Assembly speaker, Hon. Amachree, by five House members led by Hon. Evans Bipi. The report insisted that the purported impeachment is not compliance with the provisions of Section 92(2)(c) of the 1999 Constitution and contrary to Order 12 and 28 of the Rivers State House of Assembly Standing Orders, 1999.
The Senate report further accused Hon. Evans Bipi of bringing thugs to the chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The Senate report reads in part: “…The security personnel were insufficiently proactive in preventing and addressing the crisis at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the operational planning and response to the crisis.
“The crowd further forced their way into the chambers and interrupted the sitting of the House, and majority of the Honourable members had to run out of the Chambers for their safety.
“The Honourable Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amachree, and Hon. Chidi Llyod were assaulted by Hon. Evans Bipi which precipitated the crisis.
“Hon, Chidi Liyod used the Mace, which is the symbol of authority, to brutalise Hon. Michael Chinda.
“The governor of Rivers State rushed to the House of Assembly complex to salvage the situation on receipt of a distress call from a member of the House.
“Some security personnel particularly those in green and blue berets were actively engaged in a free for all fight in the Chambers on 9 July 2013.
“The security details to Governor Amaechi disarmed a policeman who cocked his gun to shoot and the policeman was injured in the process.”
In the report of the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration, the Senate agreed with the resolutions of the House of Representatives and resolved to take over legislative functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The House of Representatives had on July 10 passed A resolution to take over the legislative functions of the Rivers Assembly and invoked section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), thereby taking over legislative transactions in the assembly.
Senate president David Mark is also to mediate in the crisis between the feuding factions in the Assembly.
A crisis had engulfed the Rivers Assembly when five members out of 32 attempted to impeach the speaker, Hon Otelemaba Amachree. The confusion that followed led to violence among the state lawmakers. One of the lawmakers who sustained severe injuries had since been flown abroad for treatment.