The Edo State Government has said the House of Representatives lacks the Constitutional powers to shut down the Edo State House of Assembly.
The state government’s statement is a response to the purported orders by the House of Representatives to the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) to seal off Edo House of Assembly until a proper inauguration is done, amongst others.
In a statement in Benin City, Secretary to Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., maintained “there is nowhere in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where the House of Representatives or even the National Assembly for that matter, is granted the right or power to shut down a State House of Assembly,” adding that “in point of fact such power is expressly excluded by the Constitution.”
According to the SSG” “The Government and people of Edo State are appalled and disappointed at the gross illegality and abuse of process by the House of Representatives.”
He explained: “It must first of all be pointed out that the emergency supervisory powers over the activities of State Houses of Assembly which are contained in Section 11 of the Constitution of our Republic are expressly donated to “The National Assembly” and not one individual arm of it.
He added: “These powers certainly do not extend to issuing directives to a duly elected State Governor to unlawfully repeat an act which has already been fully carried out in line with the Constitution.
“It has further not been alleged or concluded by anyone that the Edo State House of Assembly is unable to sit.
“In fact, whenever the ‘self-exiled’ members-elect so choose, they can join their colleagues in plenary in Benin City.”
Ogie emphasised: “Suffice it to say however that there is nowhere in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where the House of Representatives or even the National Assembly for that matter, is granted the right or power to shut down a State House of Assembly, in point of fact such power is expressly excluded by the Constitution.”
The state government advised “those interested parties who sit in positions of authority in Abuja and are using their offices to influence the House of Representatives to take note that we all ultimately owe a debt of accountability to the good people of Edo State for our actions.
Edo government acknowledged its respect for the National Assembly but noted that “we live in a nation governed by laws, where no single individual or group is permitted to utilise its privileged position to oppress and intimidate the people of an entire State.
Ogie added: “We must state that the final verdict in this matter will ultimately be rendered by the good people of Edo State, for whose benefit Government exists. We are certain therefore that this illegality will not stand.”