The Edo State Government has warned the National Assembly its resolutions on the Edo House of Assembly could set the state ablaze.
It described Tuesday’s resolution of the Senate directing the Governor to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo House of Assembly as unconstitutional and a flagrant disregard for the Principle of Separation of Powers.
Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, who stated this in a press briefing, advised: “powerful persons not be allowed to set our State ablaze merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control.”
Ogie insisted that “this illegality will not stand”.
Ogie noted that there was nowhere in the Nigeria Constitution particularly Section 11(4) which enabled the National Assembly to “take over” any House of Assembly or in this respect, the Edo State House of Assembly.
He stated the move by the Senate was not unexpected in the light of the enormous political pressure brought to bear on its Officers and Members by highly placed and powerful persons whose intent to foisting their will and choices on the good people of Edo State.
The Edo SSG said the Chairman and Members of Ad-Hoc Committee of the Senate which visited Edo State were made aware of the existence of at least three (3) 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 by both contending parties for resolution.
Ogie insisted the power to issue a proclamation for the inauguration of a House of Assembly as set out in Section 105(3) of the Constitution was duly and completely complied with.
He said it was not within the power of the Governor to recall same once issued or to perform the same act multiple times.
According to the statement: “The Edo State Government watched with alarm today as the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a step that was not totally unexpected, purported to pass a resolution in the following terms: – Directing the Governor of Edo State to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly, and Ordering a fresh inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly within one (1) week from the date of the said Resolution.
“This is borne out by the recorded statements made by one Seid Oshiomhole (a Member-elect and younger brother of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Comrade Adams Oshiomhole) wherein he boasted that both the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila have been instructed on what to do in this matter.”
It went on: “The Ad-Hoc Committee also failed to inform the Senate of the existence of a valid injunction in Suit No FHC/B/OS/70/2019 wherein the Federal High Court restrained various parties from interfering in any manner with the activities of the Edo State House of Assembly which said order had been brought to their attention in the course of their visit to Edo State.
“In point of fact in Suit No. FHC/PH/CS/159/2019 the National Assembly, the Clerk of National Assembly, the President of the Senate and Speaker of House of Representatives amongst others were specifically ordered by the Federal High Court to maintain the Status Quo as at 25th July, 2019.
“The Edo State Government is further aware that in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019, wherein the Clerk and the National Assembly are defendants before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the National Assembly and the Clerk have not only been duly served with the processes but have entered appearance in the matter.
“It is unfortunate that the Distinguished Senate would act in flagrant breach of these various Court Orders and purport to come to factual and legal conclusions concerning a matter in which the parties are already before the Courts and therefore subjudice.
“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 which is manifested by their taking over the functions of the Judiciary in dispute resolution and giving directives to a Governor of a State who is certainly not subject to the supervision of the National Assembly.
“It is the duty of the Clerk of the House of Assembly to inaugurate the House of Assembly and he has since performed that task. He has further approached a Court of law to seek a validation of his actions.
“The pronouncements of the Distinguished Senate on the subject (with respect) is clearly misconceived and would amount to interference in the role of the Courts which may in fact constitute contempt with which the Governor would not wish to be associated.
“The Government of Edo State firmly believes that our State is not a colony or a vassal of any person or persons exercising power in Abuja and we shall take all necessary steps within the ambit of the law to defend and validate our position and actions on this matter.
“We call on all persons of goodwill to call the powerful wielders of “power and authority” in Abuja and elsewhere to refrain from acts which are clearly unconstitutional, undemocratic and a flagrant disrespect for the principle of due process and separation of powers.”