The clerk and the cashier of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly are said to be in police custody.
The clerk is Mandu Umoren, while the cashier is Monday Akpan.
The two, according to an official of the state assembly, have been detained at the state police headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, in Uyo local government area since 9 a.m. on Friday when they had honoured police invitation.
PREMIUM TIMES reports that they were invited for questioning over a petition from five lawmakers who were sacked from the assembly in Ninemebr lst eyar for defecting from the Peoples Democatic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
The sacked lawmakers are Nse Ntuen, who represents Essien Udim State Constituency; Idongesit Ituen, Itu; Victor Udofia, Ikono; Otobong Ndem, Mkpat Enin; and Gabriel Toby, Etim Ekpo/Ika.
Police were said to have invited Mrs Umoren and Mr Akpan following alleged case of financial fraud and embezzlement preferred against them by the sacked lawmakers.
The invitation was signed by Nwachukwu Enwonwu, a deputy commissioner of police in charge of criminal investigation and intelligence, and routed through Onofiok Luke, the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly speaker.
“They (the clerk and the cashier) were there (at the police headquarters) since morning. They were done with their statement to the police at about 9.30 a.m. and were asked by the commissioner of police to go home. As they were about descending the stairs, they were asked to come back. Some police officers told them they got instruction not to let them go,” said the assembly official who did not want his name mentioned in the report because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.
The official said the real reason the assembly clerk and cashier were arrested and detained is the stoppage of the salary and allowances of the sacked lawmakers.
“You know, there is no way they could be paid since they have been sacked by the assembly,” he said.
The two officials were still being detained at the police headquarters as at 6.30 p.m.
The Akwa Ibom assembly has been embroiled in a lingering, and sometimes violent, crisis since the lawmakers were sacked.
The Akwa Ibom Government has repeatedly accused the police of taking side with the APC and the sacked lawmakers.
The state governor, Udom Emmanuel, in November last year led some security officials and some youths loyal to the state government to the assembly premises to chase away the sacked lawmakers who were having ‘sitting’.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately reach the police for their comment on the development.
The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, did not respond to calls and text message from the newspaper as at the time of filing this report.