A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered both the Senate and the House of Representatives to halt further takeover plan of the legislative duties of the Edo state House of Assembly.
The court, which was presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the order 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 legislature.
The federal lawmakers had threatened to take over the legislative duties and powers of the state assembly if the governor failed 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.
A Port Harcourt Division of the FHC had restrained Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation to the Edo state House of Assembly.
The court order countered the Nigerian Senate’s resolution which directed Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation to the state assembly in order to bring to an end the political crisis preventing the state legislature from carrying out its legislative activities for several weeks.
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.
Idiaye and Okhuarobo are plaintiffs/applicants in the suit.
The defendants in the suit also include clerk of the National Assembly, president of the Senate, speaker of the House of Representatives, inspector general of police and the State Security Service (SSS).
Buhari assures of fairness
In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari has said he would work with relevant constitutional bodies to resolve the crises rocking the Houses of Assembly in Bauchi and Edo states.
The president said this Wednesday when he received members of Bauchi House of Assembly and other stakeholders at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
“I am aware of the problem in Edo and Bauchi states and I try to appreciate my position as the president, the political situation vis-a-vis the constitution of our country, the role of the commissioners of police and the party. I always like to be on the side of the constitution,” he said.
The president said he would liaise with the minister of justice when sworn-in and the inspector general of police to ensure the rights of the constituencies and individuals were not abused in any form.
He also urged the lawmakers not to give up their rights and the rights of those who elected them.
The president also called on the lawmakers not to compromise on their individual integrity so as not to divide the House of Assembly and the party.
The party members, led by the national chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, had briefed the president on events leading to the crisis in the state assembly.
…To be more party-conscious
Meanwhile, President Buhari has assured members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he would be more conscious of the interests of the party in taking key decisions.
Receiving the party’s NWC members at the State House in Abuja Wednesday, the president pledged to uphold party supremacy.
He commended national chairman of the party and other members for their sacrifices and overall success in the last general elections in the country.
“It is obvious that the success of the party was more paramount in your hearts. You could have deployed the times and energy you deployed for the party for your own personal use.
“I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices,” he said.
The president appealed to NWC members to abide by the constitution of the party, saying “It is not enough to just criticise certain decisions of the party without first understanding what the constitution says.”
The president assured the NWC that competent members with the requisite experience would be invited to contribute their quota to nation-building as heads and chairmen of boards of governmental parastatals and agencies.
In his remarks, national chairman of the party, Mr Oshiomhole congratulated the president on the electoral victory.
He said the NWC was meeting with him exclusively for the first time after the elections.
Oshiomhole said while it was regrettable that the party lost some states, the greatest victory of the APC was in Kwara and Gombe states.
‘‘In Kwara, we uprooted the ruling dynasty and inaugurated absolutely loyal and totally committed APC men at the helm of affairs,” he said.
Commending the unique leadership style of the president, Oshiomhole thanked president for his unflinching support that ensured the success of the party in the choice of the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.