The leadership of the Edo State House Of Assembly has faulted the stance of the National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Lanre Issa-Onilu on the recent election of the house leadership.
In a statement issued on Friday in Benin City, Speaker of the House, rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, noted that the party lacked the powers to adjudicate on election of house leadership.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) lacks the powers to adjudicate on constitutional functions of the legislature,” he said.
“We have read with disappointment the flip-flop of the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on the issue of the election of the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly.
“We recall very clearly that in the Thursday, June 20 edition of This Day Newspaper, on page 49, he said that the APC has a structure, noting that the state chapter of the party was in the best position to intervene in the issue.”
Okiye quoted the APC publicity secretary as saying in the newspaper publication: “It is not every issue that the national leadership responds to. That is why we have structure; you can relate to the APC in the state. I can’t respond to that; we have structure. It has not gotten to what the media was trying to make it look like.
“In about 48 hours, his stance has dramatically changed. He declared that the national leadership of the party is disappointed with the emergence of rt. Hon. Frank Okiye as Speaker of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly, calling it ‘a charade’ and an ‘illegality.’
“This sudden u-turn leaves us wondering if it was the same Mallam Issa-Onilu with his faculties intact speaking or if it is somebody else with vested interests that is speaking through him.”
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The ninth Edo Assembly was inaugurated on Monday, with nine members electing Frank Okiye as Speaker of the House.
The assembly has 24 members-elect.
19 aggrieved lawmakers had earlier addressed a press conference where they claimed that the governor was trying to impose the leadership of the house on members.