Edo Assembly Crisis: Senate gives Gov. Obaseki one week to issue fresh proclamation

plenary
Senate plenary

The Senate has asked the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation letter for the Edo State House of Assembly within one week.

It asked the governor to formally inform all the 24 members-elect of the new proclamation via print and electronic media platforms.

Failure to do so, the Senate said it will invoke Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which allows it take over the functions of the state assembly.

The amended section of the constitution provides that “at any time when any House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in that State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that State with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions;

“And any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the State: Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office.”

The Senate had set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly, where factions have emerged, one loyal to Gov. Obaseki and the other to his predecessor and former benefactor, Adams Oshiomhole.

Mr Oshiomhole is the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, which leads in the state.

The chairman of the Senate committee and Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, presented the report at plenary on Tuesday.

Some senators, however, disagreed with the recommendations and expressed their disappointment.

Former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, described the recommendations as “an insult” on the state governor.

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According to lawmaker, the crisis in the Edo State Assembly is a family matter as it involves members of the All Progressives Congress.

He said it is for the leadership of the party to resolve the crisis not the National Assembly.

Contrary to Mr Okorocha, Sam Egwu, from Ebonyi, said what the state governor did was wrong.

“Being a governor doesn’t mean you should do the wrong thing. Something done at night is a secret meeting. For me, the governor did the wrong thing,” he said.

On his part, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, cautioned the lawmakers who opposed the recommendations, saying they could not change them as the matter had been “laid to rest.”

While noting that the resolutions were in conformity with that of the House of Representatives, he directed that the message be sent out immediately “so that one week is not reduced.”

He also said the National Assembly should be able to query undemocratic acts no matter who was involved.

Crisis in the House of Assembly

There has been crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly over the inauguration and the election of a new speaker.

Although all the 24 members of the state assembly belong to the APC, they are however, divided in loyalty.

Nine members, allegedly prompted by the state governor, hurriedly met at night to inaugurate the House and also elect a speaker – a development which now buttresses the existence of a rift between the Messrs Oshiomhole and Obaseki.

The other lawmakers-elect were excluded in order to prevent Mr Oshiomhole’s loyalists from taking control of the legislature, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Members of the House of Representatives had on July 17, given a one-week ultimatum to the the Edo State Governor to issue a fresh proclamation for the Edo State House of Assembly.

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