Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:21 pm
The Ebonyi state House of Assembly complex in Abakaliki has been razed to the ground by a mysterious fire.
According to reports, the fire started today in the Accounts department and spread to the media section of the Assembly complex, destroying some property including sensitive documents of the House.
Foul play was suspected in the light of the plan by the state auditor general to probe spendings by the Assembly.
The Assembly has been crisis-ridden following the suspension of four members who dumped the PDP to join the Labour Party , the schism itself being a fall-out of the crisis within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party following a rancorous governorship primary, that left Governor Elechi in the cold.
Last week, the attorney-general pf the state, east of Nigeria, pronounced the assembly technically and constitutionally dead, since it could no longer form a quorum, because of the suspensions of the members.
Dr Ben Igwenyi, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice said with the suspensions, the House of Assembly shot itself on the foot and constitutionally ceases to exist.
“There is presently no House of Assembly in the state as section 91 of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that a State House of Assembly must constitute of no fewer than 24 members.
“The Ebonyi House of Assembly now has only 20 members after declaring four seats vacant which is not up to the number that can form a valid assembly,“ he said.
According to him, the development means that the House can no longer sit as a violation of this provision, contravenes the nation’s Constitution.
The attorney-general said that the only legitimate the assembly ought to have done was to suspend the affected members, but stated that ‘’as it stands now, the House has dissolved itself and can no longer function’’.http://staging.thenewsnigeria.com.ng2015/02/14/ebonyi-state-assembly-a-legal-nullity-attorney-general/