By Omuboye Sukubo
Port Harcourt – Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has condemned the action of the House of Assembly in River for suspending its member, Mr Azubuike Wanjoku.
In a statement in Port Harcourt by his media team in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Peterside said had the Assembly been properly informed the leadership would have known that it lacked authority to suspend a member.
He referred the Assembly to a recent suit by Senator Ali Ndume, challenging his suspension by the Senate leadership.
“Justice Babatunde Quadri in delivering judgment ordered Ndume’s reinstatement just as he described his suspension as an exhibition of lawlessness because it was unlawful to have suspended him,” he said.
Peterside, the governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state in 2015, alleged that the assembly was being used by an external influence, adding that the action may heat up the polity.
“The leadership of the Rivers Assembly must be called to order; they want to embark on a journey that is capable of causing unnecessary tension in the state.
“It is trite in law that even an accused must be given an opportunity to defend himself,” he added.
According to Peterside, by becoming a law unto itself, the assembly leadership is unwittingly bringing home ant-infested wood and they must be ready to dance when the music is played.
“From the way the current Rivers House of Assembly operates, one can effortlessly affirm that the once honourable legislature has self-relegated its core essence to petty local political rivalry.
“This had made it to become a laughing stock; a cadre of lawmakers who ought not to be taken seriously but they can quickly correct themselves and salvage whatever pride left in them,” he said.
Wanjoku, who represents Ikwerre Constituency, was suspended on Monday over alleged uncomplimentary remarks he made about the Assembly in the media.