Protest, as Senate issues one-week ultimatum to Obaseki

The Senate has issued a one-week ultimatum to the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of Edo State House of Assembly.

It has also threatened to take over the control of the Assembly if the governor fails to implement their resolutions.

The House of Representatives, a fortnight ago, issued a similar threat to the governor.

Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi -led ad hoc committee which visited Edo State, in its report, said due process was not followed in the issuance of the proclamation by Governor Obaseki.

He admitted that the statements offered by Governor Obaseki, Frank Okiye led faction of Edo Assembly and heads of various security agencies in the state were the same.

He also added that the confessions of the national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole and his loyalists protesting the inauguration of the Assembly, were the same.

Despite the action of the entire Senate, some lawmakers have protested the move. They see the decision of the Senate to take over the Assembly as unconstitutional.

Rochas Okorocha who condemned the action of the Senate said no section of the constitution was breached in the inauguration of Edo Assembly.

He said when the mace of the Senate was snatched; the activities of the National Assembly were not taken over by anyone. He wondered why the National Assembly will be in a hurry to interfere in a matter that doesn’t concern it.

“It looks like the Senate is eager to take over the Edo State House of Assembly. This is a family problem of the APC which the leadership of the APC should have found a way to solve and not us stepping into the matter that I think we do not have the jurisdiction to do.

“There is no proof whatsoever that the Edo State House of Assembly is not functioning,” Okorocha said.

When the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan subjected the recommendations of the committee to a voice vote, those opposed to the motion that the National Assembly should take over the affairs of Edo Assembly, thundered ‘nay’. Lawan, however, ruled in favour of those who supported the motion.

The adoption of the motion was immediately opposed by a lawmaker from Benue State, Emmanuel Oker’Jev, who insisted that Obaseki didn’t breach any known section of the constitution.

He added that those opposed to the proclamation and subsequent inauguration of Edo Assembly were merely whipping up sentiments.

But his point of order was rejected by Lawan, who said the decision had already been taken by Senate: “The National Assembly must insist on the right thing to be done even by state governors. This is the home of democracy. This motion was taken on July 10. We had three weeks to allow for some political process. I believe that has proved impossible.”

In his concluding remarks, Lawan said no state governor is too big to obey the decision of the National Assembly. He said Governor Obaseki is bound by the decision to ensure that the resolution of the Senate is respected.

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