Nigerian senate has given Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki one week ultimatum to issue a fresh proclamation letter to reconvene the state house of assembly.
It ordered that the clerk of the Assembly to inform all the 24 members elected through print and electronic media about the new inauguration date after receiving the proclamation letter from the governor.
The Senate resolved that if the proclamation is not made in one week it shall take over the functions of the State House of Assembly.
The Senate resolution followed the adoption of the report of the Senate ad hoc committee on crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly crisis, presented by its chairman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger) at yesterday, July 29 plenary after two weeks of investigation.
The Senate’s action aligned with the House of Representatives, which issued a similar directive two weeks ago.
The Senate said that its action was hinged on Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution which empowers it to wade into such crises and take over the legislative duties of such crisis-ridden assemblies.
The Senate started looking into the matter following a point of order raised by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti) on July 10.
Among other recommendations of the Senate is that a proper proclamation should be issued by Obaseki and must be advertised in both print and electronic media, inviting all the 24 members of the assembly to its inauguration.
However, a contrary position was taken Sen. Rochas Okorocha (APC Imo), who said that the Senate appeared to be in a hurry to take over the Edo State House of Assembly.
“The National Assembly seems to be overreaching its boundary in this matter. We appear to be in a hurry to take over the Edo State House of Assembly. We should see this as a family affair in APC and we must not ridicule ourselves in public, rather we should look into the matter instead of this position the Senate is taking”.
“I have been a governor before and I think what is happening in Edo is simply a failure of leadership which can be addressed,’’ he said.
Senator Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi), however disagreed, saying that it was wrong for the state governor to have constituted an assembly by 9 p.m., referring to a claim by the ad hoc committee.
“It is suspect for the governor to have issued a proclamation constituting a parliament by 9 p.m. For me, the governor did a very wrong thing.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while defending the position, said: “The decision is in conformity with the decision of the House of Representatives two weeks ago.
“If the National Assembly can reach out to the president on any matter, I don’t see any reason why same cannot be done in any state when democracy is threatened”.
“I thank the National Assembly and the committee for coming to the rescue of democracy again.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki, while reacting to publication in one of the National dailies that President Buhari directed him to issue fresh proclamation earlier, had said that he would not issue a fresh proclamation letter for the inauguration of the 7th Edo State House of Assembly.
According to him, the Nigerian Constitution of 1999, as amended, mandated state governors to issue proclamation only once for the inauguration of their Houses of Assembly and he has dutifully performed the function.