GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has been ordered to withdraw his inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly or risk its functions being taken over by the National Assembly in Abuja.
Since May 29 when the new members of the Edo State House of Assembly were sworn-in, the parliament has been engulfed in acrimony as two separate factions fight for supremacy. One faction is said to be loyal to Governor Obaseki, while the other is loyal to former governor and current All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman Adams Oshiomhole.
Last month, nine of the 24 elected members of the assembly were said to have met to elect Hon Frank Okiye as the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly. Hon Okiye is an Obaseki loyalist and since his purported election, the members of the Oshiomhole faction of the assembly have refused to recognise him as speaker.
With the impasse paralysing activities in Benin, the Federal House of Representatives set up a 13-member ad-hoc committee to investigate the crisis. Today, the senate ad-hoc committee set up to look into the crisis chaired by Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, submitted its report in which it indicted the governor for fuelling the division.
Senator Abdullahi’s committee presented its report on the floor of the senate in which it accused Governor Obaseki of bringing ill-motives to bear on the inauguration of the seventh Edo State House of Assembly, that led to the crisis. According to the report, Governor Obaseki worked in connivance with the clerk of the Edo State House of Assembly, Alhaji Yahaya Oloreigbe to shabbily inaugurate the House without knowledge of all members.
Furthermore, the committee report said that the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly, which took place around 9.30pm on June 17, was contrary to global best practices. According to the report, there was no adequate publicity of the date of proclamation and the clerk of the House pasted notices on the notice board, which was not seen by all members-elect.
Consequently, the senate committee asked that a fresh proclamation ritual be conducted by the governor or the Edo State House of Assembly risks being taken over by the National Assembly. Section 11(4) of the Nigerian constitution empowers the National Assembly to declare a state of emergency in a state and take over all its lawmaking functions.