Kamarudeen Ogundele, Sunday Aborisade and Sola Shittu
The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki on Friday hailed the judiciary for its judgment on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis.
He said the state government received the judgment with humility and respect for the judicial arm of government.
In a statement, the governor said, “We received the verdict of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on the Edo State House of Assembly issue with humility and utmost respect for the judicial arm of government.
“For the Edo State Government, this vital judgment serves to demonstrate and establish the importance of the doctrine of separation of powers, a democratic principle that balances out the powers of different arms of government and provides stability in society.”
Obaseki, however, called on all state actors in the Edo State Government to continue to respect his order not to get into public confrontation and unnecessary battles with people who express dissenting views as the government pursued peace and reconciliation.
Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt upheld the proclamation issued by Governor Godwin Obaseki for the inauguration of the 7th Edo House of Assembly.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Kolawole Omotosho, the court ruled that the National Assembly lacked the power to direct the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to issue fresh proclamation to the Edo State House of Assembly, saying such would amount to extending the tenure of members of the House of Assembly.
“There is nothing before the court showing that the Edo State House of Assembly is unable to sit. Some elected members have been inaugurated. The House has been carrying out its legislative duties,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Yekini Idiaye, and a member of the House, Henry Okhuarobo, had approached the Federal High Court to challenge the moves by the National Assembly to take over the functions of the House of Assembly.
Joined in the suit were the clerk of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Inspector-General of Police, Director-General of the Department of State Services and the Edo State governor.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Adedayo Adeyeye, has said the upper chamber will review its position on the Edo House of Assembly crisis on resumption.
The Senate will resume from its current annual recess on September 24.
It passed a resolution shortly before it proceeded on its eight weeks holiday, to take over the affairs of the Edo Assembly unless Governor Godwin Obaseki issued a fresh proclamation for the re-inauguration of the parliament.
Reacting to the Port Harcourt judgment in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Friday, Adeyeye said the red chamber would take a position on resumption.
He said, “The matter will be reviewed and the Senate will take a decision on the next step when it resumes from recess.”
Contacted for its reaction, the All Progressives Congress said it had no comment to make about the judgment barring the National Assembly from compelling Governor Godwin Obaseki from issuing fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.
When contacted for the party’s reaction on Friday, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the party had no comment to make about the judgment.
He said, “We are not a party to it. We don’t have an opinion because the suit is not between the party and Edo State Government.”
“We have said enough about Edo, if there are other developments about it, we will let the public know.”
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