Kogi Assembly bars journalists from covering proceedings again | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

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For the second day running, the Kogi State House of Assembly on Thursday locked out journalists from the chambers, preventing them from covering its proceedings.


The same thing happened on Monday when newsmen were not allowed access into the complex and had to rely on information provided by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Femi Olugbemi, for details of the day’s proceedings.

The members of the correspondents’ chapel, who were in the assembly to witness the sitting, were sent back by a security operative attached to the entrance of the chambers.

Newsmen had gone to the Assembly to witness the presentations of the Head of Service, the commissioner for finance, the accountant general of the state and the chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board who were summoned over the protracted staff verification exercise in the state.

The security operative, who normally holds the key to the entrance of the gallery, said he could not open the door, as the Speaker, Matthew Kolawole, had directed that nobody should enter and had even taken the keys with him to his office.

All efforts and plea to make the officer see reason and allow the journalists to enter were rebuffed, as he said he was acting on “order from above.”

While the arguments at the entrance lasted, a staff member of the Assembly pleaded with journalists and offered to meet with the sergeant-at-arms on their behalf.

However, when the member of staff returned, he said the sergeant-at-arm insisted that the order was that nobody should be allowed inside during the sitting.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Femi Olugbemi, said he was out of town and that he was not aware of the incident

Some newsmen that were at the Assembly on Wednesday were also prevented from gaining entrance into the gallery.

The lawmakers had summoned officials of the state government to explain the latest development on the staff screening.

It would be recalled that hoodlums had had free access to the Assembly without being checked about three weeks ago when they invaded the complex prior to the change of leadership in the House.

On the same day, the crew of Silverbird Television was chased out by the lawmakers, following the observation raised by the then deputy majority leader, Hassan Abdullahi (Ajaokuta constituency).

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