Elder statesman and former Minister of Information Chief Edwin Clark has thumbed down on the Senate’s order for fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo state House of Assembly.
Accordingly, the leader of the Ijaw nation has warned that the National Assembly’s meddlesomeness in the affair of the legislature was causing anarchy in the state, and that it could snowball beyond control.
Chief Clark in an open letter to Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja Thursday, said the fresh proclamation was not necessary since Governor Godwin Obaseki had already, in line with the constitution, made the proclamation and the house was accordingly inaugurated and is functioning.
The elder statesman said what the Senate did amounted to an unnecessary intervention, and therefore could lead to a constitutional crises since the earlier proclamation made by the governor was in order.
“Rather than abate, it appears that the House of Representatives went on to recruit, the Senate, or that the Red Chambers saw a competitive angle in the matter and plunge in, head first, eyes closed, to complement the House of Representatives in the perverse onslaught in the Edo State governance structure.
“The Senate seems not aware of, or is too possessed of a mindset that blinds it against the many Provisions in the Constitution that supersede the mere fact that the two components of the National Assembly working in tandem, on the Edo State Project.”
Citing the grounds on which the National Assembly could only intervene in the affairs of the state legislature, Chief Clark adduced Section 11 (4) of the Nigerian constitution, and said: “For goodness sake, the situation in the Edo state House of Assembly does not even look like it is pointing in that direction. Section 101 allows every Legislature to adopt its own rules.”
Further, he insisted that proclamation for the inauguration of the state assembly is the exclusive right of the governor and not that of the national Assembly in line with Section 105 (3) of the Nigeria constitution 1999 as amended.
“It is unconstitutional and wrong for the National Assembly to “order, direct” the Edo State Governor to issue a fresh proclamation. Section 3 places such activity squarely on the Exclusive List while recalling the circumstances leading to the selection of the principal officers of the 8th National Assembly, which he said were like the Edo case.