Youths invade Akwa Ibom Assembly over lawmaker’s sack


Some youths said to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday morning protested at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly over the sack of Idongesit Ituen, a lawmaker who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

The protesters, who carried placards calling on the assembly to reinstate the sacked lawmaker, set up bonfires on the road leading to the assembly, thereby halting vehicular movement.

They were later addressed by the state’s commissioner of police, John Abang, who appealed to them to be peaceful.

House speaker, Onofiok Luke, drove in and alighted at the entrance to the assembly complex at about 8:30 to address the protesters, but his effort was unsuccessful, as the crowd only became rowdier.

Mr Luke, through the prodding of his security aides, slipped through the gate and went to a safe place inside the assembly premises.

Few minutes after, the speaker entered his car and drove out of the assembly. The protesters, however, ran after the convoy, throwing stones at the cars.

One of the protesters accused the speaker and other principal officers of the assembly of being bias, adding that they would continue to protest until the sacked lawmaker is reinstated.

“Onofiok Luke cannot get away with this, I swear!

“Asuquo Archibong, the member representing Urue Offong/Oruko State Constituency, was elected through APC, but he defected to PDP. Why didn’t the speaker declare his seat vacant?” he said.

A federal high court in Uyo had on November 14 sacked Mr Ituen after the judge dismissed the main suit filed by him and granted all the reliefs sought by Luke, who was one of the defendants in the suit.

One of the reliefs sought by Mr Luke was “An order of court restraining the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly or any other person acting on his behalf (including the staff of the House of Assembly) from further recognising Hon. Idongesit Ituen as a member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.”

The sacked lawmaker has however appealed the judgment.