The Bayelsa House of Assembly yesterday passed the Child Rights Bill after its third reading, and swore in three opposition members who secured electoral victory through the courts.
Peter Akpe, Leader of the House, PDP, Sagbama 1, moved for the third reading of the bill and was seconded by Pakinson Mac Manuel, PDP, Yenagoa 1 constituency.
Speaking shortly after passage of the bill, Konbowei Benson, the Speaker of the Assembly noted that the House had passed the bill in its third session but regretted that the bill was not signed into law by the governor of Bayelsa.
He exonerated the house for the delays suffered by the bill and expressed appreciation to civil society advocates and others who pushed for the passage of the bill.
Also the speaker administered oath of allegiance and oath of membership of Bayelsa State House of Assembly on the three opposition members into the 24 member house.
The members are Alfred Belemote (APGA-Brass 2), Gabriel Ogbara (ADC-Ogbia 2) and Gibson Munalayefa (LP-Ogbia 3).
Their swearing-in into the assembly came three months after they secured victory at the appeal court.
The speaker explained that the delay was caused by the inability of the members to submit their original documents to the house in line with the rules of the house.
“Your recourse to all forms of antics including allegations against the governor of Bayelsa in the media as being behind your non-swearing in was uncalled for. Nobody was out to victimise you, even as a speaker I lost my seat for two months due to election litigation.
“Until today, the original documents have not been sighted and I could not bow to pressure in breach of the rules and procedure of the house which I swore to protect,” Benson said.