Edo Speaker Tests Positive For Coronavirus

 

Mr Frank Okiye, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Phillip Shaibu, disclosed this during a press conference in Benin, the state capital on Wednesday.

Mr Shaibu confirmed that Okiye is the recorded index case announced earlier by the state government.

Channels Television had earlier reported that the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has gone into self-isolation.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Governor Obaseki Goes Into Self-Isolation

In a statement, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the governor has sent his samples for testing.

This move the governor said was necessary following his close contact with the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, who have both tested positive for COVID-19.

There are currently 46 cases recorded in Nigeria.

Two new cases of the COVID-19 were confirmed in the early hours of Wednesday.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), one additional case was found in Lagos State while another was discovered in Osun State.

A statement by the NCDC reveals that both cases are travellers who returned to Nigeria in the last 7 days.

Senate To Appeal Court Ruling On Edo State Assembly

 

The Nigerian Senate has said that it will appeal a court ruling which is stopping the Parliament from taking over the legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly.

In a statement by Benjamin Kalu, the Chairman, House Committee on Media, the Senate said while the Parliament while comply with the court ruling, it will appeal because the injunction poses a problem to the principles of power separation in a democratic system.

The communique further stressed that the Constitution in Section 11(4) is clear on where the House of Assembly of any State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may intervene and take over the legislative functions of that House until such a time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions.

READ ALSO: Court Stops NASS From Taking Over Edo Assembly

Below is the full statement by the Senate.

“This 9th House believes in the democratic principle of separation of powers; which is why this court ruling poses a problem. It is a core constitutional duty of the National Assembly that the court has attempted to prevent. This is like the National Assembly telling the President not to present the National Budget or like the Executive stopping the Courts from giving a ruling or judgement.

“No arm of the government is supposed to abdicate power to another arm. It is contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers that one arm of government should prevent another arm from carrying out its constitutional duty.

“The Constitution in Section 11(4) is clear on this. Where the House of Assembly of any State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may intervene and take over the legislative functions of that House until such a time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions.

“It is no coincidence that this particular duty of the National Assembly to take over a State House that is unable to function falls under the section of the Constitution that deals with Public Order and Public Security.

“This is a matter of restoring public order and security in Edo State and the National Assembly has to perform its constitutional duty. It should not be a question for debate.

“Now maybe the courts can (if they find reason after the take over) say that the take over was wrong based on their own interpretation of section 11 but not to preempt a constitutional role which is Sacrosanct.

“Surely the doctrine of ripeness is applicable here. In some democratic climes Judicial restraint, which is procedural approach to the exercise of judicial review, urges judges to refrain from deciding legal issues, and especially constitutional ones, except where the decision is necessary in resolving a concrete dispute between adverse parties.

“As a substantive approach , it urges judges considering constitutional questions to grant substantial deference to the views of the elected arms of Government and invalidate their actions only when constitutional limits have clearly been violated.

The National Assembly will surely appeal the ruling but for now we must respect it.”

Edo Assembly Closure: PDP Cautions Reps Against Constitutional Violation

ICYMI: PDP Seeks Prayers For National Rebirth At Easter

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the order by the House of Representatives, asking the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS) to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly, as ‘completely unconstitutional’.

The lower chamber had asked the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly, following the adoption of a report of the House ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the crisis rocking the state Assembly.

The Party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said such action has no place in a democratic dispensation and is only obtainable in a military system.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cautions the leadership of House of Representatives to desist from actions that violate the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and could trigger a constitutional crisis in Edo state and the nation at large.

“The PDP states that no section of the 1999 Constitution confers the
House of Representatives with the powers to issue orders to a state governor or direct the shutdown of a sitting State House of Assembly.

“Whether in language or action, such is only obtainable in a military
system,” it stated.

The party also noted that such actions can encourage dictatorial tendencies and undermine the constitution.

“Our party cautions the federal legislature to note that such imperial
stance against a legislative house; a symbol of the sovereignty of the people is self-destructing and opens the fundamentals of our nation’s
democracy to unwarranted attacks.”

Don’t Get Involved In Petty Politics, Edo Speaker Tells Reps

 

The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, has asked the House of Representatives to be guided and not get involved in petty politics.

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

According to honourable Okiye, the Edo House of Assembly was duly inaugurated on June 17, 2019 and there is a court order stopping National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Inspector General of Police and all other defendants listed from obstructing the duties of members of the Assembly.

“May I state that apart from the fact that the Edo Assembly complied with the Nigerian constitution in the inauguration of the House, there also exists a court order with suit number FHC/B/CS/70/2019, FHC/B/M/285/2019, ordering the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police in Edo State, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, all defendants, their servants and agents, not to interfere, disrupt or obstruct the constitutional duties of members of the Edo House of Assembly.”

RELATED: Reps Consider Motion To Take Over Edo Assembly

Frank Okiye Emerges Speaker Of Edo Assembly Amidst Alleged Imposition

Edo Assembly Insists APC Lacks Powers To Adjudicate On Election Of House Leadership

However, the Speaker maintained that the decision of the federal lawmakers to investigate issues surrounding the inauguration is a welcome development.

“We welcome the decision of the House of Representatives to investigate all the issues surrounding the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly. We are confident that they would not find anything contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

“We humbly advise them to be guided and not get involved in petty politics to fan the ego of an aspiring Godfather.”

Electricity: Residents Accuse BEDC Of Illegal Activities

Youths-Electricity-BEDCSome residents of Edo State have protested the alleged illegal activities by the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

The youths under the aegis of Network of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria, commenced a three-day peaceful protest in Benin City, the Edo State’s capital in south-south Nigeria.

In his address at the Edo State House of Assembly complex on Wednesday, the representative of the group, Abraham Oviawe, listed some of their grievances.

Their complaints, according to Oviawe include unlawful electricity tariff, outrageous estimated billing, and irregular power supply.

Reacting to the demonstration, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Elizabeth Ativie, summoned the management of the BEDC to appear be the House.

Supporters Of Ousted Edo Assembly Speaker Threaten To Leave APC

Victor EdororSome members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Esan land on Monday gave the leadership of the APC five days to restore Mr Victor Edoror as Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly or they would leave the party.

The APC members staged a protest at Ekpoma, a town in Edo State, the same day a new Speaker, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, was sworn in.

They alleged that the removal of the Speaker was a marginalisation of Esan indigenes by the ruling APC in Edo State.

The party members threatened to vote massively against the APC in the upcoming governorship election if their demands were disregarded.

Mrs Ativie emerged speaker following the rowdy session in the Edo State House of Assembly last week that saw the impeachment of Mr Edoror as Speaker of the House.

The new Speaker pledged to maintain an open door policy and provide leadership that would move the state forward.

Meanwhile, the former Speaker had promised to support the new leadership of the House.

Honourable Edoror, representing Esan Central constituency in the House, gave his support for the new Speaker in a brief chat with reporters on Monday in Benin City, the state’s capital.

 

Edo State Assembly: Edoror Declares Support For New Speaker

Edo State, Victor Edoror, Elizabeth AtivieFormer Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Victor Edoror, has promised to support the new leadership of the House.

Honourable Edoror, who is representing Esan Central constituency in the House, disclosed this in a brief chat with journalists on Monday in Benin City, the state’s capital.

He expressed his desire to join hands with the new leadership in working for the overall interest of the people of Edo State.

The former Speaker, who is now the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, also thanked his colleagues for giving him the opportunity to serve in that capacity for one year.

“It is the decision of the honourable members for me to lead them in this house (and) now that they have decided that I should not, I am back to my seat.

“Will I now say because I’m no longer Speaker, therefore I should not come and represent my people? That will be a sacrilege beyond human imagination. I have a mandate that I must protect and I will continue to protect it,” he said.

This came after the Edo State House of Assembly was torn apart on Tuesday, when 16 lawmakers impeached the Speaker of the House and the deputy.

Edo-House-of-Assembly-crisis-fight2

Honourable Edoror and his Deputy were accused of incompetence and high-handedness.

The former Speaker said at the time that the House members had met without his consent, insisting that he was the only one that has the power to convene the plenary.

The lawmaker representing Uhunmwode constituency, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, who was elected Tuesday as replacement, has been sworn in on Monday as the first female Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Edo House

New Edo House Of Assembly Speaker Sworn-In

Edo HouseThe lawmaker representing Uhunmwode constituency, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, has been sworn in as the first female Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Elizabeth Ativie emerged speaker following the rowdy session in the Edo State House of Assembly last week that saw the impeachment of Victor Edoror as Speaker of the house.

The new Speaker pledged to maintain an open door policy and provide leadership that will move the state forward.

The former Speaker of the House, Victor Edoror and his Deputy were accused of incompetence and high-handedness.

He had said after his impeachment that the House members had met without his consent, insisting he was the only one that has the power to convene the plenary.

“I was not there when they started. Can you start a sitting without me.

“They never put an allegation before me. I have not heard from them and I think they are frivolous allegations if they are so started,” he said.

However, in a chat with newsmen at Monday’s plenary where the new Speaker was sworn in, Mr Edoror said, “I am here principally to represent my people, Esan Central.

“It is the decision of the honourable members for me to lead them in this house (and) now that they have decided that I should not, I am back to my seat.

“Will I now say because I’m no longer Speaker, therefore I should not come and represent my people? That will be a sacrilege beyond human imagination. I have a mandate that I must protect and I will continue to protect it.

“As far as I am concerned I am very pleased with the members of the Edo State House of Assembly.”

Edo Assembly Speaker, Deputy Impeached

Edo-State-houe-of-AssemblyThe Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly have been impeached.

Both men were removed on Tuesday.

The former Speaker of the House, Honourable Victor Edoror and his Deputy were accused of incompetence and high-handedness.

It is a 24-member Assembly and the two principal officers were impeached by 15 members.

The former Speaker and his deputy came into office about a year ago

A new speaker Mrs Elizabeth Ativie was elected after their impeachment as replacement.

After his purported impeachment, Mr Edoror said the House members had met without his consent, insisting he was the only one that has the power to convene the plenary.

“I was not there when they started. Can you start a sitting without me.

“They never put an allegation before me. I have not heard from them and I think they are frivolous allegations if they are so started,” he said.

 

EDHA vs. Eruaga: Court Advises Parties To Settle Out Of Court

EruagaContrary to expectations, the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly did not show up at the Appeal Court on Monday to answer contempt proceeding against him initiated by Sylvanus Eruaga for failure to swear him in into the Edo State House of Assembly.

Rather the presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City, Justice Jimi Bada, advised all parties involved in the matter to find a common ground of settlement out of court.

He said that he would entertain the application filed by the Edo State Solicitor General, Wole Iyamu, for an order discharging the process of contempt of court initiated against the Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly if they fail to resolve the matter by themselves before April 4.

Edo State: Suspended PDP Lawmakers Unite With APC Counterparts

PDPThe Edo State House of Assembly has lifted the suspension of Emmanuel Okoduwa and Kingsley Ehigiamusoe.

Since June, the Edo lawmakers have been holding parallel sittings at the separate venues.

The House was divided after the suspension of three PDP members of the House and the deputy speaker, who is a member of the APC. They were accused of gross misconduct.

Three of the suspended lawmakers defected from the APC to the PDP before they were suspended. The lawmakers dismissed the allegations and insisted that they would continue to attend plenaries. They claimed that the House did not follow due process in suspending them.

However, the suspension over Emmanuel Okoduwa and Kingsley Ehigiamusoe was lifted after the two PDP lawmakers decided to join the fifteen APC lawmakers, who have been sitting in the old assembly chambers in the Edo State Government House premises.

Emmanuel Okoduwa and Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, were elected on the platform of the PDP and had been sitting with seven others at the Edo state House of Assembly complex at the Kingsquare in Benin city.

Edo State Factional Lawmakers Reach Peace Agreement

Meanwhile, the two factions on Wednesday reached an agreement to end the  six-month long crisis after a plenary where both groups were represented, leaders of the factions told reporters that they arrived at the decision in the spirit of Christmas.

They blamed the crisis on external motivation and said they decided to resolve their differences in the interest of the people.

Sitting as one, the lawmakers voted against the Local Government Autonomy Law.

 

 

Presidential Meddlesomeness Is Responsible For Edo Assembly Crisis – Omatseye

Sam_OmatseyeThe Chairman, Editorial Board of the Nation Newspapers, Mr Sam Omatseye, has attributed presidential meddlesomeness, stomach infrastructure and cynical politics to the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Omatseye said “what is going on in Edo State is a throwback to the plague that has now encircled Nigerian politics; that is the plague of presidential meddlesomeness, stomach infrastructure and cynical politics”.

He noted that “the case of Edo is not an isolated matter when it comes to problems between the House of Assembly and the governor” alleging that “we know what happened in Adamawa State. We know the internecine rumble going on in Rivers State and we also know that even in Nasarawa as we speak, there is still a great deal of dissension from the House of Assembly” insisting that “all of this has been linked to Abuja and 2015.

“So we should not kill ourselves when we say it is presidential meddlesomeness because it is presidential meddlesomeness”, he said on Tuesday.

Mr Omatseye also debunked claims that Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was responsible for the internal problems the All Progressives Congress (APC) has witnessed in the state. He said that those who blamed the Governor of hijacking the party were guilty of ‘terminological inexactitude’ and wondered how a man would hijack what belongs to him.

“When you are the governor of a state, you are the leader of your party; you cannot hijack your party,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to first find out the reason behind the defection of four APC lawmakers to the PDP in Edo “before you talk about why they were suspended.

“These people felt disgruntled and they felt that they have to create an alternative way and that is why I brought about the issue of stomach infrastructure. If I am not going to earn my living the way I want to in this house, let me move to the other house. But I have to create so much tension in the other house so that I can become the man who is legitimate.

“The kind of politics going on in Edo State is the politics of balkanisation”, insisting that “they are too small, too tiny to have that kind of force unless they get back to the centre”, he added.

He, however, noted that “when the governor is astute, like (Rotimi) Amaechi has been, in playing his politics, they keep looking for new ways to try to turn things”.

He added that “politics in Nigeria should be based on values” and argued that “now in Nigeria politics is no longer based on values but the pursuit of resources through the agency of grabbing of power… this is crude politics going on.”

He called on Nigerian political parties to stop accepting politicians who defect from one party to the other, warning that “both parties have become receptacles of anything; what is better now is for the parties to decide and separate the wheat from the chaff”.

Mr Omatseye maintained optimism that the political terrain of Nigeria would improve in the future, noting that “the ideological voice within a political party takes a while to develop over time”.

Edo Assembly Resumes

Members of the Edo State House of Assembly resumed after a 5-week recess, and sat at two different venues on Monday.

While the lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sat at the State Assembly Complex, their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts held their sitting at the Government House.

Both factions proposed and adopted their business calendars for the new quarter.

Since June, the Edo lawmakers have been holding parallel sittings at the separate venues.

The House was divided after the suspension of three PDP members of the House and the Deputy Speaker, who is a member of the APC. They were accused of gross misconduct.

Three of the suspended lawmakers defected from the APC to the PDP before they were suspended. The lawmakers dismissed the allegations and insisted that they would continue to attend plenaries. They claim that the House did not follow due process in suspending them.

After their suspension,they made an early appearance at the House in an attempt to suspend the substantive Speaker of the House and 15 others.