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Reps Void Edo Assembly Inauguration, Order Police, DSS to Seal Premises

The House of Representatives has ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to seal off the Edo State House of Assembly until a proper inauguration is conducted.

The House also asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation of the Seventh Assembly within one week, which must be published by the media.

These are part of the recommendations by an ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the crisis in the Assembly. The panel’s report was considered and adopted at the plenary on Wednesday.

The state Assembly was inaugurated in a controversial circumstance on June 17, 2019, when nine out of 24 members-elect held an inauguration ceremony and elected Frank Okiye, as Speaker at past 9pm.

The House, acting on a motion moved by a member from Edo, Julius Ihonvbere, last week had set up the Abdurazak Namdas-led panel to probe into the crisis and recommend actions to be taken by the federal parliament.

Namdas, while presenting the report on the probe, said the panel discovered that Obaseki did not indicate the time for the inauguration, creating the confusion among members-elect of the Assembly.

He also noted that two of the nine members-elect who participated in the controversial inauguration, claimed before the panel to have done so under duress.

In the report, the panel recommended, “That the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, in the interest of peaceful coexistence of the state, should issue a fresh proclamation within one week in line with Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), stating the date, time and venue (of the inauguration), and publish in any national daily and television station.

“That all actions taken by the 7th Assembly members should be declared null and void pending proper inauguration.

“That all members of the Edo State House of Assembly, both those who have been inaugurated and those who have not been inaugurated should dissolve their factions in the interest of peace and stability of the House, with the view to moving the state forward.

“That the Inspector-General of Police  and the Director-General, Department of State Services, should shut down the Edo State House of Assembly and provide adequate security to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by members-elect.”

The House threatened that the National Assembly would take over the affairs of the state legislature if the resolutions were not complied with.

“Where recommendations 1, 2 and 3 above fail, the National Assembly should invoke the provisions of Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to take over the state House of Assembly until the situation normalises,” the federal lawmakers resolved.

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