Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, has filed a suit, asking an Abuja federal high court to stop the National Assembly from taking over the State House of Assembly’s functions.
In an originating summon and a motion on notice for interlocutory injunction with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019 filed by the speaker and the state’s assembly, the plaintiffs asked Justice Nkeonye Maha to restrain the National Assembly from going ahead with its plans pending the hearing on the matter.
The suit was instituted against the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, (first defendant) and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second defendant).
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state’s seventh assembly was inaugurated in controversial circumstances on June 17, when nine out of 24 members-elect during inauguration elected Okiye as the speaker at 9.00 in the night.
However, besides the House of Representatives that threatened to take over the assembly should Governor Godwin Obaseki fails to issue a fresh proclamation for the assembly’s inauguration recently, the Senate had, on Tuesday, passed a resolution giving the governor a week to issue the proclamation letter or risk the takeover of the state’s legislature.
The matter, which was brought before Justice Maha on July 23, was adjourned until July 31 for hearing since the parties were yet to be served.
However, the lead Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), today, July 31, told the court that after the defendants had been properly served as ordered by the court, the Senate on Tuesday, July 30, still went ahead and passed a resolution for the takeover of the assembly if the governor fails to comply with its resolution.
He explained that the defendants, through their lawyers, had on Tuesday served the plaintiffs a counter affidavit to their motion and written address and also filed a memorandum of conditional appearance.
He said that it is disheartening that despite that the governor had already issued a proclamation which was duly gazetted officially and that the members of the state assembly had duly been inaugurated, principal members elected and the house has since been performing its functions, the federal lawmakers directed Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation.
The judge adjourned the case to August 7 to enable the complainants respond to the counter affidavit and written address filed by lawyers to the National Assembly.