Court stops National Assembly from taking over Edo Assembly

Edo Obaseki and Oshiomhole
Obaseki and Oshiomhole

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered both the Senate and the House of Representatives to halt their plan to take over the legislative duties of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The court, which was presided over by Taiwo Taiwo, made the order on Wednesday at the resumed hearing of the case.

The case was instituted by the Edo State Government to challenge the directive by the chambers of the National Assembly to the governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation of the state’s House of Assembly.

The federal lawmakers had threatened to take over the legislative duties and powers of the Edo State House of Assembly should the governor fail to make the fresh proclamation within three weeks.

But, Justice Taiwo ordered the parties in the case to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the case.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how a Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court restrained Mr Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation to the Edo State House of Assembly.

The court order countered the Nigerian Senate’s resolution which directed Mr Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation to the state assembly in order to bring to an end the political crisis which has prevented the assembly from carrying out its legislative activities for several weeks now.

The restraining order followed a motion ex-parte filed by the deputy speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Yekini Idiaye, and another lawmaker, Henry Okhuarobo, who represents Ikpoba-Okha State Constituency.

Both Messrs Idiaye and Okhuarobo are plaintiffs/applicants in the suit.

Besides Mr Obaseki, the defendants in the suit are the clerk of the National Assembly, the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the Inspector General of Police and the State Security Service (SSS).

The Edo State government had described the Senate resolution on the state assembly crisis as unconstitutional and a flagrant disregard for the Principle of Separation of Powers.

Also, a state high court in Benin City gave a similar order last month, restraining the ruling All Progressives Congress from interfering in the affairs of the state assembly.

The crisis in the Edo assembly began when the assembly was inaugurated under controversial circumstances at night with only nine, out of 24 lawmakers-elect, on June 17.

The 24 lawmakers are members of the APC.

Other lawmakers-elect were excluded from the inauguration to prevent the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole’s loyalists from taking control of the legislature, PREMIUM TIMES gathered.


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