Edo Assembly Declares 14 Seats Vacant

 

The Edo State House of Assembly has declared 14 seats vacant; the 12 members-elect who have refused to present themselves for inauguration into the 7th Assembly and two others who didn’t meet the mandatory sitting requirements to continue as members.

According to the Deputy Speaker of the House, Yekini Idiaye, representing Akoko Edo State Constituency I, the resolution was reached at plenary on Wednesday, December 4.

He noted that the seats declared vacant are Etsako West I, Etsako West II, Owan East, Owan West, Etsako Central, Etsako East, and Esan Central.

Others are Uhunmwonde, Oredo East, Oredo West, Egor, Ovia North East I, Ovia North East II and Ovia southwest I.

READ ALSO: Senate Swears In Smart Adeyemi, Replaces Dino Melaye

He said two of those affected from Oredo East and Owan East, were sworn-in but failed to meet the mandatory 181-day sitting requirement for a member in a calendar year.

For others, who hadn’t been inaugurated since the proclamation of the House, he said, “Their constituents have been complaining and have come to us that they want their voices and concerns to be heard at the House. So, people who are willing to provide quality representation have to be elected to bring the matters of the distraught constituents to the floor for debate and legislation, where necessary.”

He noted that the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and affirmed the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Alhaji Aramiyau Momoh, after receiving the report of the investigation committee on the appropriation of funds and undermining the financial rules and regulations of public service.

Other matters considered at the sitting, according to him, were the confirmation of the members of the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS).

Edo Assembly Crisis: 14 Members Seek Buhari’s Intervention

Some members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly at a press conference in Abuja on October 18, 2019.

 

 

Fourteen members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly have demanded presidential intervention into the crisis rocking the Assembly.

The members, who are yet to be sworn in, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfil his promise of resolving the legislative impasse in the state.

A member of the Assembly representing Uhunmwode State Constituency, Mr Washington Osifo, made stated this on behalf of the group at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

The lawmaker-elect stressed that it was time for the President to wade into the matter as the affected members accused the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, of crossing what they termed ‘the red line’.

He also claimed that the governor was a threat to democracy, while the urgent need for President Buhari to intervene would avert a breakdown of law and order in the state.

READ ALSO: Again, Supreme Court Strikes Out HDP’s Appeal Against Buhari’s Election

Osifo faulted the inauguration of 10 out of the 24 members of the House by the governor.

He accused Governor Obaseki of working against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the symbol of democracy represented by the legislature, adding that he must not be allowed to continue without being sanctioned.

The lawmaker-elect, therefore, called on well-meaning individuals and groups among others to prevail on the governor to issue a proclamation letter that would usher in the seventh State Assembly.

He said, “The people of the world, the authorities of this country, and those who have sworn to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should see the need to speak to the conscience of the governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to immediately release a proclamation letter which will kick start, of course, the inauguration of the seventh Assembly.”

You Lack Power To Take Over Edo Assembly, Court Tells NASS

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, has ruled that the National Assembly lacks the power to take over the function of Edo State House of Assembly or any other House of Assembly in the country.

The Court also ruled that the National Assembly lacks the power to direct Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to issue fresh Proclamation to the Edo State House of Assembly, as such would amount to extending the tenure of members of the House of Assembly.

Deputy Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Yekini Idiaye and a member of the House, Hon. Henry Okhuarobo, had in their personal capacity, approached the Federal High Court to challenge the moves by National Assembly to take over the functions of the House of Assembly.

Joined in the suit were the Clerk of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of th State Security Service and Edo State Governor.

Delivering his judgement yesterday, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Kolawole Omotosho, declared that it is only the Court of Law that can direct the National Assembly to take over or seal the Edo State House of Assembly.

Omotosho said: “There is nothing before the Court showing that the Edo State House of Assembly is unable to sit. Some elected members have been inaugurated. The House has been carrying out its legislative duties.

“The National Assembly lacks the power to take over the Edo State House of Assembly. It amounts to taking over th functions of the Edo State House of Assembly. The House of Assembly is not an appendage of the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly lacks the power to seal-up or direct anybody to seal-up up the Edo State House of Assembly. The Nigerian Constitution is a federal constitution and National Assembly cannot unilaterally decide that Edo State House of Assembly is in crisis and seal-up same.

“It is only a Court of law that has the power to make findings, particularly after listening to parties, to decide of the National Assembly can take over a House of Assembly.

“I hold that it is the Court that has the power to define and hold that Edo State House of Assembly cannot function and the National Assembly can take over.

“As far as the law is concerned, the Governor of Edo State has given a Proclamation. The National Assembly has no power to direct the Governor to issue a fresh Proclamation. The Governor is the Chief Executive of the state and cannot be controlled by the National Assembly.

“The Court will be extending the tenure of members of the Edo State House of Assembly of it holds that the Governor should issue fresh Proclamation. Nigeria is a federal state and state governments are autonomous. Our political actors must see it like that and treat them as such.”

Speaking to newsmen later, Counsel to the Obaseki, Santos Owootori, described the judgement as sound and victory for democracy.

Also speaking Counsel to claimants, Kingsley Idahosa, said they were glad that th judgement went in their favour.

Edo Assembly: I Don’t Think There Is Any Crisis – Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has dismissed the rumour of crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

The governor said this while receiving the report of a reconciliatory committee set up to look into all post-election matters at the All Progressives Congress (APC) Secretariat in Benin.

Addressing journalists in the state on Saturday, he said the APC is ready to reconcile its aggrieved members, stressing that there is no crisis rocking the party or the House of Assembly.

READ ALSO: ‘Nothing Unusual About Meeting With My Brother’, Oshiomhole Says About Obaseki

“It has ended actually. We are just waiting for the members to come back and get inaugurated. I don’t think there is any crisis.

“For those people who don’t want to make peace or people who don’t want to belong to a family, as long as the party gives an opportunity to be members of that family, if it’s not utilised, there is not much we can do,” he said.

The governor’s comment come two weeks after meeting with APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, following weeks of disagreement.

Obaseki after the meeting said there is no rift between himself and his successor Governor Godwin Obaseki and there is nothing unusual about them holding a meeting.

Oshiomhole, who described Obaseki as his brother said the alleged rift between them is the creation of people with personal interest.

Edo Assembly Crisis, Reflection Of Immature Politics, Says Odigie-Oyegun

APC Ex-Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun

 

The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, says the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly is a reflection of immature politics.

Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke to journalists in Benin, criticised the National Assembly’s order directing Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation of the state’s parliament.

He noted that while President Muhammadu Buhari’s office is sovereign, the office of the state governor is sovereign and should be treated as such.

According to the APC chieftain, anyone who treats the governor with disdain is indirectly questioning the legitimacy of the people on him.

READ ALSO: Atiku, SERAP, Others Condemn Sowore’s Arrest

“Our politics has to start maturing. Our politics has to start being civilised. Our politics has to move from killings, maiming, thuggery and the rest of it.

“Our politics has to move to a stage where you can differ with somebody and state the good reasons for differing. I don’t think it has ever happened in this country that the National Assembly will issue instructions to a sovereign government.

“People don’t seem to realise it, there are two sovereignties. We have the President who represents the sovereignty of this nation and the governor reflects the sovereignty of the state,” he said.

Odigie-Oyegun also advised APC leaders to stop heating up the polity with unguarded utterances, stressing that anyone who doesn’t want the governor for a second term can do that through the ballot in the party’s primaries.

‘This Illegality Will Not Stand,’ Edo Govt Reacts To Senate Order On State Assembly

Gov Obaseki Condemns Killing Of Police Personnel In Edo
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki (file )

 

The Edo State Government has reacted to the Senate order which on Tuesday asked the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation letter for inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly within one week.

In a statement and signed on Tuesday by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, the state government declared that “this illegality will not stand.”

They described the Senate order as unconstitutional and a disregard for the Principle of Separation of Powers.

The state government claimed that the order was propelled by “powerful persons who want to set Edo State ablaze “merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control.”

READ ALSO: ‘Issue Fresh Proclamation Letter To Edo Assembly’, Senate Orders Obaseki

“This move was not unexpected in the light of the enormous political pressure which had been brought to bear on the Officers and Members of the distinguished Senate by the highly placed and powerful persons who are intent on foisting their will and choices on the good people of Edo State.”

The State government said there are three pending suits pending before various courts concerning the issue of the Edo Assembly and the Senate Ad-hoc committee were informed when they visited Edo State.

“The Government of Edo State wishes to observe that the Chairman and Members of Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate which visited Edo State were made aware of the existence of at least three suits pending before various Courts wherein the factual and legal dispute regarding the Edo State House of Assembly inauguration have been submitted to the Courts by both contending parties for resolution.

“The Ad-Hoc Committee also failed to inform the Senate of the existence of a valid injunction in Suit No FHC/B/OS/70/2019 wherein the Federal High Court restrained various parties from interfering in any manner with the activities of the Edo State House of Assembly which said order had been brought to their attention in the course of their visit to Edo State.

“In point of fact in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/159/2019 the National Assembly, the Clerk of National Assembly, the President of the Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives amongst others were specifically ordered by the Federal High Court to maintain the Status Quo as at 25th July, 2019.

“The Edo State Government is further aware that in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019, wherein the Clerk and the National Assembly are defendants before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the National Assembly and the Clerk have not only been duly served with the processes but have entered an appearance in the matter,” the statement read in part.

The secretary to the state government added that it is unfortunate that the  Senate would act in flagrant breach of these various Court Orders and come to conclusions concerning a matter in which the parties are already before the Courts.

The Edo State Government also maintained that there is nowhere in the Constitution particularly Section 11(4) which enables the National Assembly to “take over” any House of Assembly or in this respect, the Edo State House of Assembly.

“It is the duty of the Clerk of the House of Assembly to inaugurate the House of Assembly and he has since performed that task. He has further approached a Court of law to seek a validation of his actions.

“The pronouncements of the Distinguished Senate on the subject (with respect) is clearly misconceived and would amount to interference in the role of the Courts which may in fact constitute contempt with which the Governor would not wish to be associated.

“The Government of Edo State firmly believes that our State is not a colony or a vassal of any person or persons exercising power in Abuja and we shall take all necessary steps within the ambit of the law to defend and validate our position and actions on this matter,” Ogie said.

The Senate had earlier on Tuesday ordered Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation letter to the seventh Edo House of Assembly.

The Senate also ordered that the Clerk of the Edo House of Assembly should inform all 24 members elect via electronic/print media of the new inauguration date after receiving the proclamation letter from the governor.

The senate resolved that if the proclamation is not made in one week, the national assembly shall take over the functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.

‘Issue Fresh Proclamation Letter To Edo Assembly’, Senate Orders Obaseki

FILE PHOTO: Governor Godwin Obaseki addressing a gathering in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

The Senate on Tuesday ordered Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation letter to the seventh Edo House of Assembly.

The Senate also ordered that the Clerk of the Edo House of Assembly should inform all 24 members elect via electronic/print media of the new inauguration date after receiving the proclamation letter from the governor.

The senate also resolves that if the proclamation is not made in one week, the national assembly shall take over the functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The resolutions followed the adoption of the report of the Senate ad hoc committee on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis, presented by its chairman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi.

READ ALSO: ‘There Is Anger In The Country’, Abdulsalami Rallies Nigerian Elders

The report submitted by the committee revealed that the clerk of the Edo House of Assembly stated that Governor Obaseki transmitted a written proclamation to him, a publication was made and members-elect were notified of the planned inauguration.

The report also indicated that the commissioner of police was aware of the inauguration and necessary security was granted.

The report disclosed further that members-elect who were not inaugurated alleged that they did not receive any information on the planned inauguration as alleged by the clerk of the Edo House of Assembly.

The committee told the House that the proclamation letter by the governor did not contain the time for the inauguration and there was no media publication as required by law.

Also, no video clip from the inauguration was provided to the committee as requested.

Another revelation by the committee was that the Nigeria Police was informed on the inauguration day.

The direction by the Senate to Governor Obaseki to issue fresh proclamation letter aligned with that of the House of Representatives, which issued a similar directive two weeks ago.

Reps Not In Position To Order Edo Assembly Shutdown – Edwin Clark

 

Edwin Clark on Monday called on the House of Representative not to interfere in Edo State House of Assembly affairs noting that it is not their responsibility to order for its shut down.

The elder statesman while addressing journalists in Abuja stressed that it is not the duty of the lawmakers.

He also described as illegality the lawmakers asking the Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki to rescind his proclamation over the situation is the Assembly.

“It is not their duty.

“It is only the court that can interpret it (Governor Obaseki’s proclamation). Every governor has a way of writing its own proclamation.

“They should just allow the court. The case is already in court. So, whether what the governor has done through his proclamation is valid or not.

“It is not the duty of the House of Representatives to order the shutdown (of the House) within one week,” he said.

Clarke added that he will continue to speak when he sees things going wrong in the society. He also decried members of the House of Representatives for calling on Edo state governor to rescind his proclamation.

“Asking the governor to rescind the proclamation is irregular, it’s illegal and very uncalled for. It is creating more trouble.

“Those of us who have retired must speak out when something wrong is going on,” Clark said.

Reps Ask IGP To Shut Down Edo Assembly

Reps Ask IGP To Shut Down Edo Assembly

 

The House of Representatives has asked the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly.

This followed the adoption of a report of the House ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the crisis rocking the state Assembly on Wednesday.

On July 9, members of the lower chamber of the National Assembly considered a motion seeking to take over the functions of the Edo Assembly, in line with the Constitution.

They had also constituted a committee led by Abdurazak Namdas to investigate the crisis and recommend actions to be taken by the House.

READ ALSO: Edo Speaker Rejects Reps’ Move To Shut Assembly

Shortly after considering the report of the panel on Wednesday, the lawmakers adopted it and asked the heads of the police and DSS to seal the Edo State House of Assembly.

In line with the recommendations of the report, they agreed that Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in the interest of peaceful coexistence of the state, “Should issue a fresh proclamation within one week in line with Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), stating the date, time and venue (of the inauguration), and publish in any national daily and television station.”

“That all actions taken by the 7th Assembly members should be declared null and void pending proper inauguration.

“That all members of the Edo State House of Assembly, both those who have been inaugurated and those who have not been inaugurated should dissolve their factions in the interest of peace and stability of the House, with the view to moving the state forward.

“That the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General, Department of State Services, should shut down the Edo State House of Assembly and provide adequate security to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by members-elect,” the adopted report also recommended.

The lawmakers also resolved that “Where recommendations 1, 2 and 3 above fail, the National Assembly should invoke the provisions of Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to take over the state House of Assembly until the situation normalises.”

Edo Speaker Rejects Reps’ Move To Shut Assembly

Edo Speaker Rejects Reps’ Move To Shut Assembly
Mr Frank Okiye

 

 

The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, has rejected the move by the House of Representatives to shut down the assembly.

He stated this in a statement on Wednesday, shortly after the House of Representatives took the decision in Abuja.

The federal lawmakers had asked the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi, to shut down the Edo Assembly.

They had also called on the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation within one week, in the interest of peaceful coexistence of the state.

READ ALSO: Reps Ask IGP To Shut Down Edo Assembly

In his reaction, Okiye told Channels Television that a competent court had already retained the security agencies from taking such an action.

He insisted that the rule of law was prevailing in the State Assembly.

The Edo Speaker said, “Here, there is peaceful conduct of our operation here and the people that are in the National Assembly do not have such powers to issue out such orders.

“I repeat they do not have it. So, it is condemnable and should be resisted.

Okiye also issued a statement at the end of his interview with Channels Television.

Read the full statement below:

It has come to our knowledge that the Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives investigating issues surrounding the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly has recommended that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Department of State Services (DSS) should seal up the Assembly.

Considering what we came to know in the course of this process, the recommendation of the Ad-Hoc committee does not come to us as a surprise.

For example, the chattered plane marked 5N FCT, which brought the committee members to Benin City, was paid for by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is a major party in the disagreement.

Also, the younger brother to the National Chairman, Seid Oshiomhole, in a recent leaked audio conversation, revealed the underhand dealings in Abuja regarding the matter.

He stated that Oshiomhole and his proxies have been having meetings with the committee members and other actors in the issue in Abuja and dolling out money to ensure the issue goes in their favour. 

With all these, it was clear that the ad-hoc committee was up to no good. Their report was always going to be biased.

Moreover, we want to draw the attention of the general public and the Police to a subsisting court order restraining the Police, headed by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the National Working Committee of the APC; the DSS and their agents,  from interfering in the affairs of the Assembly, as the House has been going about its activities peacefully and without rancor.

The National Assembly must take note that they are expected to act as agents of peace and not merchants of crisis.

Edo State has always been peaceful and any attempt for them to carry out this order will certainly disrupt the peace that is currently being enjoyed in the state.

In a time like this in which the nation is being engulfed in one form of violence or the other, it is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is seen to be promoting violence and exacerbating the tension in the country.

Signed

Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye

Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly

Obaseki Warns ‘Abuja Politicians’ To Steer Clear From Edo Assembly

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki addressing his supporters during a solidarity rally held in his honour on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has warned those he describes as Abuja politicians to steer clear from the state House of Assembly.

Obaseki made the warning on Thursday during a rally organised by several solidarity groups in the state in his honour.

The rally follows reports of the National Assembly planning to take over the state legislative complex, a move that didn’t augur well with him.

But addressing the huge crowd in Benin, the state capital, the governor said the people were ready and waiting for individuals mobilising outside forces to seize the Assembly.

“I want to leave you with these words that those people who are parading themselves, speaking on the internet and everywhere for themselves and their pockets, Edo people are watching you.

READ ALSO: Reps Consider Motion To Take Over Edo Assembly

“For those of you who have gone outside to Abuja to say that people from outside should go and invade Edo, to come and seize our House of Assembly, we are waiting for you,” he said.

The stern looking Obaseki regretted why some politicians would want to tense the atmosphere of the state.

He recalled that Kogi and Bayelsa elections coming up in November have not been as tensed as Edo, stressing that his administration Is not perturbed at all owing to the people’s support it enjoys.

Speaking further, the governor decried a situation whereby some people that joined in the democratic struggles for the building of the All Progressives Congress in the state would renege.

“This struggle started 12 years ago in this town. The struggle has not ended, the struggle has just entered gear 2. For those of you who are old enough, what we are going through today, we went through 10 years ago.

“The same thing, nothing has changed. It’s just unfortunate that some people who were with us when we started that struggle, today we do not know what has happened to them. But it is a struggle we will win because it is a struggle that says that the people must lead.

“Democracy is about the people. And so whatever we are doing as a government is for you because we have not started, this is just the beginning. All the plans that we have in place by the grace of God will come to fruition,” he said.

Reps Consider Motion To Take Over Edo Assembly

The House of Representatives on Tuesday considered a motion seeking to take over the functions of the Edo House of Assembly in line with the constitution.

This according to the sponsors of the motion is a matter of urgent public importance and in view of the crisis rocking the legislative house.

The motion was brought during plenary on Tuesday by Julius Ihonvbere, Peters Akpatason, and Johnson Oghuma and it is to enable the proper inauguration of Edo State Assembly.

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During the deliberations, some lawmakers asked for investigation before the House takes the final decision.

The House thereafter resolved to set up a committee to investigate the ongoing situation.

Read the motion paper below…

More to follow…