The leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives may constitute a joint ad hoc committee to resolve the lingering crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, gave the hint in an exclusive interview.
Nigerians have expressed concern over the role of the National Assembly in the crisis with each chamber carrying out independent investigations into it.
The House of Representatives had concluded its probe and taken steps to be in firm control of the state parliament but the Senate panel had yet to conclude its investigations.
The Senate spokesperson described the actions taken by the federal parliament as normal.
He said, “What both chambers are doing is normal, constitutional and in line with the global parliamentary practice.
“The House of Representatives and the Senate are different from each other. We have different rules, procedures and schedule of work.
“It just happens that the House took up the matter and Senate also decided to take it up too. There is a different approach to the matter from both chambers.
“The House has gone ahead to pass judgment, we had yet to do that, we are still investigating.
“Our own committee has not even reported back to us. We are still expecting the report of that committee to see what their recommendations would be.
“If in the process, it becomes necessary to have a joint committee, of course, we would do that in line with the parliamentary procedure.
“For now, each chamber is looking at the matter from its different perspective.”
Also, the Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee set up to probe the crisis, Sabi Abdullahi, also justified the dual probe of the crisis at both chambers.
He said, “The Senate and the House of Representatives are doing separate works. Nigeria is practising a bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives has done its job. The Senate has to respect whatever the other chamber is doing.
“They have done their own, let us do our own. It is at the end of our assignment that you will conclude and see whether we are working at cross purposes or not.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Francis Okiye, on Saturday said only the rules of the House could make him to step down as the Speaker of the House and not pressure from any quarters.
Okiye,Said his appointment as the Speaker of the House was by the zoning of the party leadership and the rules of the House.
He said it would be unfair on the part of any group to stay outside the state and be throwing stones at Edo State, adding that if there was any problem in Edo State, then it should be solved in the state.
“I have always said that my speakership is not cast in tablets of stone; it is by the grace and support of the members. As long as the house comes together and abides by the rules, that will not be a problem. But you cannot be asking for a change from outside,” he said.
According to him, even if all the 24 members of the House are inaugurated afresh, he will still emerge the Speaker of the House because the post has been zoned to his constituency.
Okiye added, “They were asking for certain offices which I didn’t have the power to give. Do you know that what we have presently on the ground is exactly what the party advised? So if anybody wants to change that position, they should go back to the party leadership and not me; I am just the Speaker of the house. After the party did the zoning, the secretariat of the party also produced me as the Speaker.
“Of course, even now I am abiding by the rules of the house. I am not here by my own law. I am abiding by the rules. I am a Speaker by the rules of the House and the zoning of the party and if the rules say otherwise, I will abide. What I am saying is that there is a provision to change leadership. This is my third shot at the house and I have had different kind of leadership positions.”
On the way out of the crisis in the House, the Speaker advised the 12 members outside the state to simply subject themselves to the rules by taking their oath of office first and then be inaugurated.
The speaker stated, “You see a House manages itself only when it has been inaugurated and members subscribe to the relevant oath. This is not the first time the leadership of the House has been changed. This is not the first time committees and others have been juggled. We keep saying complete your documentation, come to the floor and be inaugurated and then we can now listen to your agitation.
“So they still have the opportunity to be inaugurated and participate in the business of the House and then, we listen to their agitation.”