Friday, October 17, 2014 8:55 pm
*Speaker surprised that commission asked about politics of the house, not financial matters
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has released the three three principal officers of the Edo State House of Assembly detained at the Abuja headquarters of the Commission on Wednesday.
The detained lawmakers who regained their freedom are Speaker of the House, Uyi Igbe; Majority Leader, Philip Shaibu; and the Chief Whip, Folly Ogedengbe.
They were invited by anti-graft agency to appear before it on Wednesday, but were later detained for allegedly forging the signature of Hon. Abdul-Razak Momoh during the impeachment of the former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea.
The Chairman, House Committee on Youths, Sports and Information, Adjoto Kabiru, had on Thursday raised an alarm over the alleged detention of the three lawmakers under inhuman conditions and that they were denied medical attention.
The Speaker, on arrival in Benin, expressed dissatisfaction with the agency, which he said concerned itself with the affairs of the house rather than focus on the investigation of financial crimes.
He, however, assured that the house would continue to remain focused in its constitutional duties and not be intimidated.
“I was under the impression that they were to investigate financial misappropriations, only for us to get there and issues that concern the house of assembly was what they were bringing up.
“What they were telling us was that somebody alleged that we forged the signature amongst the signature that we used to impeach the former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea.
“I was taken completely aback. Then again I’m not too surprised because we all know that this is the systematic way they have been using to harass and intimidate us since.
“But I want them to know that this is only going to make us stronger. We will remain focused. We will not shake. We refuse to be intimidated.”
Meanwhile the Edo State Police Command has said that it has charged 22 suspects in connection with last Saturday’s attack at the Edo State House of Assembly Legislators’ Quartres to an Oredo Magistrate Court in Benin.
It would be recalled that the command had earlier arrested 12 person over the attack which left 36 vehicles belonging to the All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the state house of assembly vandalised.
The Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebajo, in statement made available to journalists in Benin also added that the command was “still hunting for other suspects that have gone underground to evade police arrest and prosecution.”
While stating that the command remained neutral in handling the present political crises in the state, it urged politicians to play the rules and shun acts capable causing a breakdown of law and order in the state.