There was commotion at the National Assembly on Thursday as a plot to stop the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, from entering the assembly complex failed.
Riot policemen tear-gassed angry lawmakers, who were protesting against the development.
Although the general belief was that the security operatives were deployed in the assembly to prevent Tambuwal from presiding over Thursday’s “special plenary,” The PUNCH gathered that it was to stop some lawmakers, especially those in the All Progressives Congress Caucus, from tabling a motion for President Goodluck Jonathan’s impeachment.
The drama started as early as 6am when heavily armed policemen and hooded Department of State Service operatives blocked all the gates to the National Assembly.
They conducted searches on the vehicles of Senators, House members, workers and visitors to the complex, all in a bid to stop the speaker from entering the premises.
Tambuwal arrived around 10.47am to meet the blockade. He managed to pass through the first gate after the security personnel asked for his identification.
But, on reaching the main entrance gate, he was stopped by the policemen who were led by a top officer from the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.
Among those who scaled the gate were the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; the Deputy Minority Leader, Abdulrahman Kawu; the Chairman, House Committee on Public. Accounts, Solomon Olamilekan; the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Victor Ogene; Bimbo Daramola and Babatunde Adejare.
When the policemen realised that locking the gate yielded no results, they started throwing tear gas canisters at the lawmakers, including Tambuwal.
At the lobby, the enraged lawmakers, practically pulled down its doors down as they forcibly guarded Tambuwal into the House for proceedings to begin.