Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, says the senate has gone beyond its constitutional powers in giving him an ultimatum over the state assembly crisis.
On Tuesday, the senate gave the governor a week ultimatum to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the state house of assembly.
The development followed the adoption of the report of the Senate ad hoc committee on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis, presented by its chairman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi.
The Senate’s action aligned with the House of Representatives, which issued a similar directive two weeks ago.
A misunderstanding between Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Obaseki had led to the factionalisation of the state assembly.
Nine lawmakers loyal to Obaseki were secretly inaugurated on June 17, leaving their colleagues in the camp of Oshiomhole stranded.
In a statement Osarodion Ogie, secretary to the state government (SSG), issued on his behalf, the governor said he would not issue a fresh proclamation.
He described the action of the senate as illegality that cannot stand.
“The Edo state government watched with alarm today as the distinguished senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a step that was not totally unexpected, purported to pass a resolution in the following terms: – Directing the Governor of Edo State to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the Edo state house of assembly, and ordering a fresh inauguration of the Edo state house of assembly within one (1) week from the date of the said resolution,” he said.
“As earlier mentioned, this move was not unexpected in the light of the enormous political pressure which had been brought to bear on the officers and members of the distinguished senate by the highly-placed and powerful persons who are intent on foisting their will and choices on the good people of Edo state.
“This is borne out by the recorded statements made by one Seid Oshiomhole (a member-elect and younger brother of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress Comrade Adams Oshiomhole) wherein he boasted that both the senate president, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the speaker of the house of representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila have been instructed on what to do in this matter.
“The government of Edo state wishes to observe that the chairman and members of ad-hoc committee of the senate which visited Edo state were made aware of the existence of at least three (3) suits pending before various courts wherein the factual and legal dispute regarding the Edo State House of Assembly inauguration have been submitted to the courts by both contending parties for resolution.
“It is unfortunate that the distinguished senate would act in flagrant breach of these various court orders and purport to come to factual and legal conclusions concerning a matter in which the parties are already before the courts and therefore sub judice.
“The Edo state government maintains that there is nowhere in the constitution particularly Section 11(4) which enables the national assembly to take over any house of assembly or in this respect, the Edo state house of assembly.”