Edo State dares Senate over threat to take over assembly

Edo State Government Tuesday said the threat to take over its house of assembly by the Nigerian Senate was unconstitutional and a show of disrespect for the principle of separation of powers.

“The Edo State Government maintains that there is nowhere in the Constitution particularly Section 11(4) which enables the National Assembly to “take over” any House of Assembly or in this respect, the Edo State House of Assembly,” secretary to Edo State Osarodion Ogie said in a statement.

“We are also concerned that the Members of the Distinguished Senate appear to have very scant regard for the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in our Constitution.”

Nigerian Senate Tuesday resolved to take over the functions of Edo state House of Assembly within a week.

The action is, however, depending on whether Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, complies with the order mandating him to issue a fresh proclamation for what it called a proper inauguration of the Edo House of Assembly.

Ogie, however, said the Senate ad-hoc committee that visited Edo State is aware of the existence of “at least three suits pending before various Courts wherein the factual and legal dispute regarding the Edo State House of Assembly inauguration have been submitted to the Courts.”

He noted that that the committee failed to inform the Senate of the existence of a valid injunction in Suit No FHC/B/OS/70/2019 where the Federal High Court restrained various parties from interfering in any manner with the activities of the Edo State House of Assembly.

Ogie said the Clerk of National Assembly, the President of the Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives and others were ordered by the Federal High Court to maintain the Status Quo as at 25th July 2019 in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/159/2019.

He, however, said the move by the Senate was not unexpected because of the enormous political pressure by highly ‘placed and powerful persons’ who intend to foister their will on the state.

Ogie expressed disappointment in the Senate for acting in flagrant breach of court orders to come to legal conclusions concerning a matter that is in court.