The Edo state chapter of The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday in Benin, asked the drowning Edo governor to stop his recklessness and lawlessness.
The party asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to stop deceiving himself with the thought of reconciling with the fourteen aggrieved elected members of the 7th Edo House of Assembly, less than three weeks to a crucial governorship primary election, where he ought to test his popularity.
The state chapter of the PDP through its Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, described the Governor’s assumption of magical and supernatural powers in his constitution of a committee to reconcile APC members that were not inaugurated on June 17 last year as members of Edo House of Assembly and declaring that the ship had sailed as laughable.
It said in a released statement, “There is nowhere in our laws and lexicon where persons who have not reported for duty, whose seats in the assembly have been declared vacant and the constituencies deemed unrepresented, can be referred to as members-elect. The constitution by Edo governor of a reconciliation committee has brought serious confusion to the polity, regarding the legality or otherwise of the committee.”
The 14 anti-Obaseki Edo lawmakers, on December 12, 2019, approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order of interim injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting by-elections in respect of their seats declared vacant by the Speaker, Frank Okiye, on December 4, 2019, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice, dated December 10, 2019.
The PDP also approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order to join the party as defendant in the suit brought by the 14 aggrieved APC members. Edo PDP, through its lawyer, Barbara Omosun, in suit, with reference number: FHC/ABJ//CS/1582/2019, told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that as a registered political party, it was entitled to field candidates in the seats declared vacant by the Speaker of Edo House of Assembly. The party argued that the state’s House of Assembly was duly proclaimed on Monday, June 17, 2019, a position that had always been held and canvassed by Obaseki and his camp of APC, in view of the proclamation letter to the effect by Edo governor.
The main opposition party in Edo said: “PDP’s rights and interest may be adversely affected by the court’s decision, hence we joined the suit, as soon as we became aware of it. It is pertinent to remind Edo governor that the 14 APC members have ceased to be referred to or described as lawmakers-elect or lawmakers. The speaker of Edo House of Assembly declared their seats vacant.
“Obaseki should know that the 14 seats are no longer available to them. The Edo House of Assembly is not a property of APC. The constituency seats are not bargaining tools in their political bartering.
“The 14 seats belong to PDP candidates, who have rightly approached the court and argued that the refusal/neglect to subscribe to the oath of membership/allegiance with respect to the affected constituencies, throughout the first session and first quarter of the 7th Assembly of Edo State, amounts to abdication of office. We cannot reconcile why Edo governor thinks a committee can get involved at this time.”
Edo House of Assembly has 24 seats, with ten of the members loyal to Obaseki inaugurated on June 17 last year, while the 14 other members are in Abuja.
Meanwhile, Obaseki, on Thursday, named Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Senator Ehigie Uzamere to lead the peace mission in the state’s chapter of the APC.
Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi