The Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) faction has on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020, cautioned the Executive Governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, to be mindful and respect the boundries that exist between the three arms of government, viz: the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.
Assembly passed this clear message across to the executive arm of government, going by the spate of illegalities that they alleged have been, and are still being supported by the executive arm of government.
This caution became necessary due to the various anomalies that the House termed executive rascality which according to the legislature has made the state to be in the news for the wrong reasons.
Speaking on the unconstitutional clearance of civil commissioners nominated by the governor, to fill the vacancies in EDSOPADEC who they said were “screened and approved by a contraction made up of seven out of twenty four members of the house.”
Hon. Washington Osa Osifo, the member representing Uhumwonde constituency in the House of Assembly, speaking under matters of public importance, said: “One of the responsibilities of the parliament, tandem with the dictate of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is to act as a check on the executive.”
Hon. Osifo, who condemned the alleged shoddy, clandestine and undemocratic manner in which some Commissioners of EDSOPADEC were screened and cleared by seven out of the twenty four members of the legislature, added: “Such screening and clearance, must be declared null and void by the parliament as they didn’t form a quorum to so do. This house must condemn such act in all its entirety, since in the face of the law those Commissioners never appeared before any constitutionally recognized Parliament for clearance.”
Following Hon. Osifo’s explanation of his matter of urgent public importance, other members including Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, the member representing Akoko Edo II, and the Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Ohio Ezomo of Owan West, Nosayaba Okunbor, of Orhionmwon I, Chris Okaeben of Oredo West, Hon. Ugabi Kingsley of Etsako East, Hon. Ekhosuehi Uyiosasere of Oredo East, Hon. Vincent Uwadie of Ovia North East amongst others unanimously condemned what they called the ‘executive rascality’ of Edo state government, which they say must not be allowed to continue.
Following the above, the house resolved that Edo State House of Assembly cannot sit without forming a quorum as those that sat to deliberate on any such matter are in the face of the constitution, illegal; as such anything purportedly done by the seven members is null and void.
The House therefore directed the state Commissioner of Police, the Directorate of State Security(DSS), the Commandant of the Nigeria Civil and Security Defence Corps(NCSDC) as well as other security agencies to henceforth stop giving security back up to these perpetrators of illegalities who are parading themselves as members of the Edo State House of Assembly.
Their resolution went on to urge the governor of the state to respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and desist from supporting those that have been and still are vandalizing the premises and properties of the House of Assembly and should within 48 hours stop having any dealings with the illegal gatherings in the Government House who have been parading themselves as members of the state parliament.
Also, the house resolved that salaries and allowances paid to the so called Commissioners of EDSOPADEC so cleared is unconstitutional. Therefore, EDSOPADEC, the Police, ICPC, EFCC, DSS, the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) as well as other security agencies operating in the state, should be put on notice. The Speaker directed the Clerk of the House to send a copy of the resolution to all the authorities concerned.
Also in the Plenary, a petition written by Green Acumen, Chris Osatowie and Associate, Legal Practitioners, dated 17/08/2020, and signed by Chris Osatowie Esq, and addressed to the Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, titled: “Petition against the illegal, clandestine and unconstitutional swearing in of a new Vice Chairman, in place of Hon. Philip Eguarojie, the Vice Chairman of Akoko Edo Local Government Council of Edo state.” Asking the house to intervene and direct a proper investigation into the matter.
The second petition, from the Local Government Service Commission, Beninm City, dated 19th August, 2020, jointly signed by Benson Edosowan, C. E. Abhulimen Esq and Hon. B. S. Oloruntoba, all members of the dissolved Local Government Service Committee, in which they prayed the House of Assembly to intervene in the matter to reinstate their appointments.
While the third is a petition that emanated from Douglas Ogbankwa Law Firm, dated 13th August, 2020, which is a petition of illegal suspension in breach of right to fair hearing and executive recklessness against the chairman, leader and the clerk of Owan West Local Government Council.
The factional Speaker of the house, Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror, referred the petitions to the relevant House Committees to look into them and within two weeks to submit their findings.
Finally, before the motion for adjournment was moved Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror, used the opportunity to again emphasize that Edo State House of Assembly has no intention to impeach any member of the state executive but equally the governor should not push the Assembly to the wall.
The factional Speaker, emphasized that all the media houses should stop promoting the activities of the seven members that have been parading themselves as members of the state house of assembly. He stated that the Independent Television(ITV) has deliberately refused covering the deliberations and activities of the State House of Assembly, which is an utter negation of the regulations of the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC). He urged all media houses and Nigerians, in general, to be fully aware that there is only one House of Assembly in Edo State as it is a slap on the face of democracy for the minority to prevail over the majority.
The motion for adjournment was moved by Hon. Ugiagbe Dumez and seconded by Hon. Seid Oshiomhole. Thereafter the sitting of the house was adjourned to Tuesday, September 1st, 2020.