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Eviction: Reps may sanction member over juju scare

Posted by Ibanga Isine, Abuja on 2005/03/06 | Views: 629 |

Eviction: Reps may sanction member over juju scare


Members of the House of Representatives may sanction their colleague, Mr. Foster Okoto, for allegedly employing illegal and diabolical means to forcibly evict a former member, Mr. Ebikekeme Ere, from the Apo Legislative Quarters.

Members of the House of Representatives may sanction their colleague, Mr. Foster Okoto, for allegedly employing illegal and diabolical means to forcibly evict a former member, Mr. Ebikekeme Ere, from the Apo Legislative Quarters.

This followed a report presented to the House by the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Dr. Bello Mutawalle.

The committee chairman said that the action of the Bayelsa State representative amounted to gross abuse and ethical misconduct.

"His action is not only a dishonourable act, but one which is capable of bringing the reputation of this honourable House to public ridicule," he said.

Mutawalle informed the House that there was a mix-up in the allocation of residential quarter to Okoto, who was admitted to the lower legislative chamber in December 2004.

The situation resulted in the two lawmakers having allocation papers to the same house. Ere, whose election was nullified by the court, was yet to vacate the property.

He argued that instead of the new lawmaker opting for a peaceful resolution of the problem, he secured the help hoodlums and policemen to evict his former colleague.

He said that the action constituted "a disturbance to the life and convenience of another member, which amounted to an illegality."

Okoto was also said to have smashed doors and windows of the residential quarters. He also allegedly cursed and insulted Ere and his family members.

Mutawalle said, "He is further reported to have engaged some diabolical effects as he came with some ‘juju-like’ artefacts to the residents of the house.

"I, therefore, recommend to the House that Okoto be called to order forthwith pending the committee’s immediate commencement of full scale investigation into the entire matter, after which appropriate action shall be recommended."

Ere was forcibly evicted from the Apo legislative quarters on February 21 by policemen and hoodlums. The sergeant-at-arms and the National Assembly police authorities have denied their involvement in the action.

The SAA, Col. Emeka Okere and the Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, told our correspondent that the authorities of the National Assembly did not authorise the eviction.

Meanwhile, plenary was suspended on Tuesday in honour of the former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Haruna Abubakar, who died in a London hospital on Friday.

The PUNCH, Wednesday, March 2, 2005

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