Following the fracas at the entrance to the Anambra House of Assembly on Thursday, the police in the state say they have sealed off the complex till further notice.
A statement on Friday by the police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said the sealing off was done by 6 pm on Thursday.
The police had earlier, on Thursday, teargassed lawmakers, staff and supporters of various factions of the state House of Assembly as tempers flared over the leadership tussle in the house.
The House became factionalized on Tuesday with the alleged impeachment of the speaker, Rita Maduagwu, by about 20 of the 30 members.
She was purportedly replaced by Ikem Uzoezie who represents Aguata II Constituency.
But, backed by some state officials, she later regained access into the chamber, and held a session with 11 members of the assembly.
She had also described her impeachment as a “bundle of illegality”.
However, Mr Uzoezie, on Wednesday, said her impeachment was irrevocable.
Interestingly, both speakers adjourned the sitting of the house till Thursday.
But, in a bid to prevent outbreak of violence between both factions and their supporters the police cordoned off the complex.
Over 300 armed policemen, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, cordoned off the complex from the Alex Ekwueme Square entrance, as early as 8am.
This affected workers of the nearby judiciary complex and others who had businesses in the area as they were also denied entrance.
Later, as supporters of both factions gathered at the entrance, the atmosphere became charged, forcing the police to disperse them with teargas.
After the situation was brought under control, the Uzoezie faction held a sitting, with 25 members said to be in attendance.
Later in the evening, the police sealed the complex to forestall breakdown of law and order.
The Police claimed the leadership of the Assembly invited them to take over, seal off and secure the entire premises.
This, Haruna (Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohamme) said, was contained in a letter addressed to the Commission of Police with effect from 6pm Thursday, November 15, 2018.
Although the Police did not reveal which of the leadership being referred here, but explained this measure was proactive to avert possible breakdown of law and order in the Assembly.
“Sequel to the breaches of public peace at the Anambra State House of Assembly Complex on the 15th November, 2018, the Leadership of the Assembly has requested for the Police to take over, seal off and secure the entire premises of the Assembly in an official letter to the Commissioner of Police.
‘’The Anambra State Police Command wishes to inform the general Public that it has sealed off the Assembly Complex with effect from 6:00pm of Thursday 15th November, 2018 as a proactive measure to avert possible breakdown of law and order in the Assembly’, the statement said.
The command further implored members of the public to stay away from the House of Assembly premises till further notice.
“The Command solicits the co-operation of Ndi Anambra in this regard and further assures all citizens /residents of its determination to provide adequate security in the State, please,” the statement concluded.