Mon. Jul 15th, 2019

Nigeria's National Assembly

Senate set to liaise with Reps over Edo State House of Assembly Crisis

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan has said the upper chamber would set up an ad-hoc committee to work with their House of Representatives counterparts set up to investigate the crisis in Edo State House of Assembly.

He said this on Wednesday while responding to a point of order raised by Micheal Opeyemi (APC, Ekiti Central).

There have been controversies over the ‘inauguration’ and the ‘election’ of a new speaker, a development which has created reports of a rift between the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and the state governor, Godwin Obaseki.

All the 24 members of the state assembly belong to the APC.

However, nine of them, allegedly prompted by the state governor, clandestinely met one night to ‘inaugurate’ the House and ‘elect’ a speaker.

The other lawmakers-elect were excluded, in order to prevent Mr Oshiomhole’s loyalists from taking control of the legislature, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

The lower chamber on Tuesday set up a 13-member ad-hoc committee to investigate the crisis in the state assembly.

Section 11(4) of the constitution provides that the National Assembly laws for the peace, order and good government of a stat at any time when House of Assembly in the state is unable to perform its functions.

Mr Opeyemi stressed the need for urgent intervention and urged the Senate to set up and ad hoc committee “that will be able to look into this issue and able to determine what the next line of action should be.”

“Our constitution is clear on what we need to do. I am not even calling that we invoke a section of the constitution at this point but there is a need to investigate what has happened in the state and take a decision to send as a message.

In his response, Mr Lawan suggested that an ad-hoc committee be set up to work with that of the House of Representatives, instead of creating a new committee to commence a separate investigation.

“One thing to do is to set up a committee and urge the committee to work with the House so we can bring the crisis to an end.

“The intervention is to the extent that when the state of the assembly is unable to perform its functions. We haven’t had any hard facts. All we have is information. The committee will come back and tell us whether it warrants section 11 or not,” he said.

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