The Police in Anambra State on Thursday locked out members of the state House of Assembly.
The lawmakers, made up of those who purportedly impeached the Speaker of the House, Rita Maduagwu, on the 13th of November, were stopped at the gate of the complex and asked to leave from there.
No fewer than 200 policemen had barricaded the entrance to the legislative complex as of 8am on Thursday.
Efforts by the factional Speaker, Ikem Uzoezie, and his group to persuade the policemen for about two hours to let them in to the complex failed.
Speaking to the press, Uzoezie decried the continued sealing of the state House of Assembly complex by the Police, describing it as unconstitutional and affront to democracy.
About 20 out of the 30 members of the House had, on 13th November, impeached Maduagwu for alleged financial impropriety, highhandedness, incompetence and gross misconduct.
Maduagwu, who later gained access to the chamber, presided over a session with 11 members of the House and described her impeachment as “a bundle of illegality.”
The state government had openly shown support for Maduagwu and asked the parallel members of the House to sheathe their swords.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, Anambra State chapter, as a consequence had suspended the factional Speaker , Uzoezie; the Deputy Speaker, Hayford Oseke and Victor Okoye who were identified as the “ring leaders” of the impeachment plot.
When contacted on the telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, confirmed that the lawmakers were denied entrance into the legislative complex.
He said the Police action was sequel to an application from the leadership of the House to protect the complex.
He said, “We had earlier issued a press statement notifying the public of sealing off of the Assembly. We stand on that press statement.”
Asked how long the sealing of the complex would last, Mohammed said it depended on counter-instruction the Command would be given.
“What we did is called proactive measures to protect the place and prevent breach of law and order.
“The world over, proactive measures for crime prevention is preferred to reactionary measures,” Mohammed stated.