The Kogi State House of Assembly has approved the nomination of a former Deputy Speaker of the State House of assembly, Mr Simeon Achuba, as the state’s deputy governor.
The approval was immediately followed by Achuba’s swearing-in behind closed doors as journalists were barred from the Banquet Hall of the Government House, the venue of the inauguration in Lokoja on Tuesday.
The newsmen, who had rushed from the State House of Assembly, where the deputy governor was screened, were denied access to the hall by the security personnel, who claimed they were acting on instruction not to allow journalists in.
They stated that the inauguration was not meant to be a public function and warned the journalists to leave the venue.
Curiously though, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mallam Abdulmalik Abdulkareem, and the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, could not be found at the time to assist the stranded newsmen.
Earlier, the state House of Assembly had screened and approved the nomination of Achuba as deputy to Governor Yahaya Bello.
This confirmed Sunday PUNCH’s story that Achuba might emerge as the state’s deputy governor.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal, said the approval was in response to a letter from the executive, signed by Bello, seeking the approval of the House for Achuba’s nomination.
Lawal said the nomination of Achuba, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress in May, 2015 was to fill the vacuum created in the engine of governance of the state.
Achuba, a two-time member of the House, was asked to ‘take a bow and go’ following submissions of members that as a former member of the Assembly, it was unnecessary to subject him to rigorous screening.
Born on July 13, 1964 Achuba was a member of the Assembly between 1999 and 2007. He served as the Deputy Speaker of the House between 2003 and 2007 and the immediate past Chairman of the Kogi State Environmental Protection Board.
Also, the House approved a list of 21 nominees for appointment as special advisers to the governor.
Lawal added that the request was contained in a separate letter from the governor to the state lawmakers.