The 13-man House of Representatives ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the crisis at the Edo State House of Assembly arrived Benin City on Friday to meet with the disagreeing parties, assuring that the issues would be resolved quickly.
Speaking with journalists at the Benin Airport, Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Abudulrasaq Namdas, said the committee was in the state on a fact-finding mission, with a view to resolving the crisis rocking the Assembly.
After an interactive session with the 12 members of the Assembly to get their own side of the story, Namdas said: “I can assure you that we have done much in the matter in the last one week. All the parties involved have given us their support and have shown willingness to resolve the matter.
“I want to assure you that in a short period, we will turn in our report and we are sure that the issues will be resolved quickly,” he said.
Responding to questions from the committee members, the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Frank Okiye, said there was no acrimony in the Assembly before June 17, 2019, as all members were awaiting the proclamation letter in readiness for the inauguration.
“This was our focus as legislators but unknown to us, there was a gang-up. On the day of the inauguration, some of us that were in the Assembly made calls to other members, unknown to us that they were at a press conference. About nine of us on ground-mounted pressure on the Clerk since we formed a quorum. At about 3:30 pm, the clerk commenced the inauguration of the nine members present,” he said.
On his part, the clerk of House, Alhaji Audu Yahaya Omogbai, said he received the letter of a proclamation from the governor on Friday, June 14 and duly informed members-elect appropriately, notifying them that inauguration was slated for June 17.
“Thirteen of them submitted documentations while 12 have been inaugurated, but 11 have not submitted at all. One of those that have submitted his is with the other 11 in Abuja. The two vital documents that need to be submitted include the Certificate of Return and the Code of Conduct and asset declaration certificate.”
At a meeting at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, Namdas assured that the committee would be neutral in handling the issues, saying members of the committee were men of proven integrity.
He said they were in the palace to inform the Oba of their presence in the state and seek his blessing to enable them to succeed in their job.
The Oba welcomed the committee and thanked them for the visit, assuring them of the Palace’s support to ensure they succeed in their task.
He said the assignment was not an easy one, adding that some of his chiefs who are politicians had been doing their best to resolve the issues.