A Civil Society Activist who is also the Converner of Talakawa’s Parliament, Marxist Kola Edokpayi, has sued the Governor of Edo State for his failure to proclaim the holding of the 1st session of the Edo State House of Assembly.
The Petitioner/Applicant, Marxist Kola Edokpayi, in the case with Suit No: 13/70M/2019, instituted by way of an Originating Motion, dated 13th day of June, 2019, filed the same day before the High Court of Edo State, and made available to TheNigerialawyer (TNL), challenged the failure, refusal and/or neglect of the Edo State Governor to proclaim the holding of the 1st session of the Edo State House of Assembly to enable the Clerk of the House to swear in the members-elect.
Marxist Kola Edokpayi, who was a candidate for Elections into the Edo State House of Assembly conducted on the 9th day of March, 2019, deposed to a 18 paragraph affidavit in support of the motion, to the effect that the 6th session of the House of Assembly was inaugurated on the 7th day of June, 2019, and that the inauguration of the 7th session of the 2nd defendant became due on the 8th day of June, 2019, adding that, the Governor is to proclaim the inauguration of the 7th session after the swearing in of the Governors on the 29th of May, 2019, as provided by law. The petitioner, being aggrieved by the Governor’s failure to do the needful, sought for the following reliefs to wit:
A DECLARATION that the failure, refusal and/or neglect of the 1st Defendant to proclaim the holding of the 1st session of the 2nd Defendant to enable the 3rd Defendant swear in the members-elect of the 2nd Defendant is wrongful and unconstitutional.
AN ORDER of mandamus directing the 1st Defendant to proclaim the holding of the first session of the 2nd Defendant as stipulated in Section 105 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), not later than Monday, the 17th of June, 2019, at 9:00 am at Edo State House of Assembly Complex, Chief Anthony Enahoro Complex, King’s Square, Benin City.
AN ORDER of this honourable court that if the 1st Defendant did not proclaim the first Session of the 2nd Defendant by 9:00 am, Monday, the 17th day of June, 2019, the 2nd Defendant’s first session is deemed proclaimed by the Constitutional necessity and order of this honorable court consequently, directing the 3rd defendant to swear in the members-elect of the 2nd Defendant based on the said constitutional necessity on Monday, the 17th of June, 2019, at 9:00 am, as the 2nd defendant’s first session deemed proclaimed by constitutional necessity.
The Grounds relied upon for the application are that the 6th session of the Edo State House of Assembly by effluxion of Tenure stands dissolved and the 7th Session of the Edo State House of Assembly, is ripe for the 1st Defendant to proclaim the first session as provided for by Section 105 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that the 1st Defendant is obligated to proclaim the first session of the 2nd Defendant by law anytime from May 29th, 2019, but as before the effluxion of the Tenure of the preceding House; that the failure, refusal and neglect of the 1st Defendant to proclaim the first session of the 2nd Defendant has caused incalculable damage to governance in Edo State and left in vacuum in Legislative Governance and is generating tension that could lead to a breakdown of law and order.
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