House declares legislative emergency in Rivers State

The storm in the Rivers State House of Assembly reverberated nationwide on Wednesday as the National Assembly, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), opposition parties and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) all waded into the crisis, played the blame game, with some calling for the removal of the state’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Joseph Mbu. Alarmed at the turn of events in Rivers State, the House of Representatives took proactive action by declaring a legislative emergency in the state. It invoked Section 11(4) of the constitution, which empowers the National Assembly to take over the functions of any state legislature that is unable to perform its constitutional functions due to a breakdown of law and order. However, the invocation of Section 11(4) of the constitution would only have effect if the Senate concurs with the House on the matter. But even as the House moved to stem the crisis in the assembly, the Senate could not arrive at a common ground on the issue, as the senators bickered bitterly over the call for the sack of Mbu. In its reaction to the crisis, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), however, called on the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against President Goodluck Jonathan, whom it blamed for the political instability in Rivers State. But in a sharp riposte, the presidency and PDP asked ACN to leave the president out of the state crisis and urged the National Assembly to ignore the call for Jonathan’s impeachment.


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