The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, yesterday urged the House of Representatives not to allow itself to be used by anyone to achieve their personal agenda.
This came as the federal lawmakers adopted a motion under matters of urgent importance sponsored by Prof. Julius Ihonvbere at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, to constitute an ad-hoc committee to probe into the issue with the aim of ensuring an amicable resolution.
According to Okiye, the Edo House of Assembly was duly inaugurated on June 17, 2019 and since then the business of law-making has been going on without any hinderance.
He said: “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.”
The speaker said: “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.”
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday waded into the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.
Ihonvbere (Edo: APC) wanted the House to wade into the matter so as to ensure the proper inauguration of the Edo House of Assembly, with the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of State Security Services (SSS) providing the necessary security for the entire 24 members-elect to be sworn in as expected and required by law.
The lawmaker expressed concern over what he termed the improper, clandestine and nocturnal inauguration of the Seventh Edo State House of Assembly on June 17, 2019, wherein nine out of 24 members-elect were purportedly sworn in without the knowledge of other 15 members-elect.
He accused Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy of being responsible for the alleged abduction of four members-elect against their wish, thereby forcing the Clerk of the House to secretly swear in nine members-elect out of the 24 at 9:30 p.m. outside the normal time recognised by the rules of the House for the conduct of legislative business.
Ihonvbere, who claimed that majority of the members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly had since fled the state due to fear for their lives, contended that no normal legislative business can take place unless the proper procedure for inaugurating the legislature is done as envisaged and guaranteed by the constitution.
Meanwhile, the Deputy House Majority Leader, Mr. Peters Akpatason, who co-sponsored the motion, said he felt psychologically traumatised that Edo State, which produced nationalists like Anthony Enahoro, Tony Anenih and Adams Oshiomhole, had been taken over by political rascals masquerading as true democrats.
He was supported by Johnson Oghuma (Edo: APC), who stated that the crisis must be nipped in the bud in the interest of democratic rule in the country.