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State assemblies are govs’ stooges, says Mark

Speaking at the opening of one-week induction programme for newly elected members of the state houses of assembly in Abuja, senator Mark said that the…

Speaking at the opening of one-week induction programme for newly elected members of the state houses of assembly in Abuja, senator Mark said that the general impression of Nigerians was that the state legislatures had the  governor offices.
The induction which was organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies brought all newly elected lawmakers from the 36 states of the federation.
The senate president further lamented a situation whereby the state assemblies failed to grant themselves financial autonomy in the third constitution amendment which he described as a sad development.
He said: “As law-makers, you must avoid holding your sessions in the Council Chambers of the Government Houses. It is ignoble to use the Mace outside the Chamber or borrow Local Government Legislative Council Mace to conduct your affairs or resort to self help by using your Mace to perpetuate violence.”
According to Mark, “you must conduct your sittings in line with the provisions of the Constitution and the extant rules of the House. As state legislators you must restrain yourselves from the excessive use of the constitutional provision that empowers you to impeach either your speakers, executive governors or their deputies.”
Mark also warned that impeaching a public elected official remained a very serious legislative process that must not be abused or taken for a joke.
He said: “Impeachment is not designed for a few days exercise. Where it has become the last resort, it must be painstakingly conducted within the hallowed chamber of the parliament in accordance to the extant rules of the House and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He also said that there was the need for collaboration between the executive and the state legislatures on matters of public good.
“I have always maintained that the most important legacy of the legislature in the last 16 years is its commitment to law-making, oversight functions and representation to ensure good governance.
Delivering a paper, “Legislative Procedures and Practice in states Houses of Assembly,” the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang (APC, Akwa Ibom) described the state legislatures as a department in the governor’s office.