The Members-elect of Edo State House of Assembly has declared that the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, cannot impose the speaker or any leaders on the 7th Assembly.
There are 24 members which makes up the assembly and they are elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), same platform on which Obaseki won the governorship.
Daily Trust reports that though there were denials, the rift between Obaseki and National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is increasingly becoming glaring. There were insinuations that some of the state assembly members-elect were challenging the governor because they had strong backing in Abuja.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Benin on behalf of 19 aggrieved members- elect, their spokesman, Washington Osifo, said the tenure of the last assembly expired on June 7, but the governor had refused to proclaim the new House as required by law. “The governor by virtue of Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) is constitutionally required to issue a letter of proclamation for the inauguration of the new assembly to avoid a vacuum,” he said.
Osifo said other states of the federation had inaugurated their houses of assembly, but that Governor Obaseki deliberately refused to allow the assembly to function, thus usurping the power of the legislators. “The governor, no matter how powerful, cannot impose individuals either as speaker or deputy speaker on the legislators. At best, he can lobby for his preferred candidates as was recently witnessed at the National Assembly,” he said.
He therefore called on traditional rulers, President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the party to prevail on Governor Obaseki to issue a proclamation to enable the house function to avoid constitutional crisis.
Responding, the State Chairman of APC, Barr. Anslem Ojezua, said the leadership of the party had agreed on the composition of the assembly leadership. “I don’t see any constitutional crisis because we met only yesterday and we have agreed as a party on how the leadership of the assembly should be constituted,” he said. “I expect that Mr. Governor will issue the proclamation any time now, but I don’t see any constitutional crisis at all. As you can see, everything is moving smoothly,” he added.