Edo crisis: Senate set to take over Assembly, one week after giving Obaseki crucial mandate




Obaseki

Strong indication emerged Tuesday, that the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly will take over the Edo State House of Assembly next week Tuesday if the Governor of the State, Goodwin Obaseki, refuses to issue fresh proclamation for inauguration of the State parliament .

Senate’s move in this direction lies on the strength of recommendations made to that effect by the Ad-hoc Committee it set up to investigate the crisis.

The Committee led by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi ( APC Niger North) had in its report , recommended that  Governor  Godwin Obaseki, should issue fresh proclamation for inauguration of  the 7th Assembly in Edo State , information of which must be clearly communicated to the 24 members – elect.

This is as it added that “in the event that a new proclamation was not issued by the Governor for proper inauguration of the 7th Assembly of the State within a week,  the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly should invoke the provisions of section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”

Prior to the adoption of the committee’s recommendation by the Senate, divergent opinions were expressed on them by Senators across party lines .

While Senators Adamu Aliero ( APC Kebbi Central) and Sam Egwu ( PDP Ebonyi North), supported the committee’s recommendations , Rochas  Okorocha (APC Imo  West) and Emmanuel Oker – Jev ( PDP Benue North West), kicked against them.

Specifically, Senators Adamu Aliero and Sam Egwu in their support for the recommendations , argued that the purported earlier proclamation and inauguration carried out by the Governor and Clerk to the Edo State House of Assembly , were sham , illegal and unconstitutional.

Egwu in particular said, ” For a governor to issue proclamation for inauguration of State Assembly on 17th June 2019 by 11:00am and the Clerk in carrying out the proclamation as stated in the report of the State Police Commissioner , did it 9:00pm without the knowledge of majority of the members –  elect , clearly shows illegality of the exercise.

“Besides , anything done in the night indicates cultism which any parliament must not associate with . The purported inauguration of the 7th Assembly of Edo State on the 17th of June by 9:00 pm as against 11:00 am stated in the proclamation , should not be allowed to stay .

“It is illegal , unconstitutional and undemocratic . The Senate should adopt recommendations of the committee and do the needful constitutional if need be,” he said.

But Senator Okoroacha in kicking against the move, said the matter should be treated as family affair among all the APC stake holders in the State .

He frowned at the committee’s recommendations for ultimatum to be issued on the State Governor for issuance of fresh proclamation .

He said, ” Issuing ultimatum for issuance of fresh proclamation from the governor is provocative  and portraying the Senate as hurriedly dabbling into a matter I feel it has no constitutional power over.

“This is clearly a family affair that all stakeholders within the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) both in the State and at the national level , should be allowed to handle.

“I was a governor , and I strongly believed that no governor will  like the step the Senate is about to take.”

But the President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan , in his remarks said the period for the matter to be treated as family affair has lapsed , having given all the parties concerned , three solid weeks to allow for political solution without anything in that direction, happening.

“The Senate and by extension, the National Assembly cannot afford to shy away from doing the needful on the Edo State Assembly crisis  as constitutional empowered.

“However , the expected political solution to the problem can still be achieved before the expiration of one week ultimatum given to the governor for issuance of fresh proclamation for proper inauguration of 7th Assembly of Edo State,” he said .

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