BY SUNNY DAVID
The Chairman of Anambra State House of Assembly Special Taskforce On Environmental Degradation and Chief Whip of the 7th legislature, Hon. Lawrence Chukwuweike Ezeudu, has stated that the institution of the State Assembly is under attack by two illegal mining kingpins.
The lawmakers said that the outright disrespect and contempt of the State Assembly by Mr. Osita Agina and Mr. Kenneth Okigbo, whom he said were responsible for all illegal mining and excavation activities going on across Anambra state, was an affront to the legislature.
He stated this while moving a motion during the plenary of the State Assembly calling on the Anambra State Commissioner of Police to institute an arrest warrant to secure the appearance of Osita Agina the Managing Director of OYITRACO LIMITED and Kenneth Okigbo Managing Director of M&E ENTERPRISE before the Anambra State House of Assembly Plenary.
Hon. Ezeudu noted that the aforementioned persons were not above the law and had no rights to flout the orders of the State Assembly mandating them to appear before it to defend allegations of illegal mining levelled against them.
The lawmaker further disclosed that the blatant refusal of the two individuals to make themselves available for questioning was an attack on the strength of the state assembly.
He opined that the said kingpins could not hold the entire Anambra State hostage with their unauthorized mining activities and as a result, both of them must appear before the plenary to give an account of their operations as well as the revenue remitted to government coffers.
According to Hon. Ezeudu: “I want to bring to the knowledge of this House that the State House of Assembly is an institution backed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. These men have shown they are not honourable men.
“We have done series of letters and served them based on section 103 of the constitution and based on 128 and 129 of the constitution on several occasions and we have proof of service well received by these men.The worrisome question is, do these two men realise that we have a State House of Assembly?
“Are these two men ghosts? Are these two men bigger than Anambra State House of Assembly? Are these two men above the law of Anambra State? The Committee set up by this Honourable House has been to disrepute. Who are these men and why would they not want to appear before the House to answer questions?
“We did not mention in our letters that they were criminals. They are just allegations and a lot of questions beg answers. These two men; one of them is controlling Anambra-Central and South senatorial zones. The other is controlling the North senatorial zones.
“If this excavation business continues, Anambra State will become the smallest State in Nigeria. Buildings are collapsing in the North. Buildings are collapsing in the Central. In the South is not different due to erosion business.These two men are now behaving as if they are gods.
“They are collecting huge amount of money and they don’t even account properly. Our IGR has not gone up since they started this evil deeds to the State. Our institution is under attack by these two illegal mining kingpins.”
It would be recalled that the State Assembly had called on Governor Willie Obiano to issue an executive order prohibiting the unauthorized excavation of laterite stones and local sharp sand at the defunct Oba Airport Site and also prosecute the defaulters forthwith. The motion was sponsored by Lawrence Chukwuweike Ezeudu of Dunukofia state constituency.