Lawyer and activist, Kayode Ajulo, yesterday, declared that the House of Representatives cannot shut down the Edo State House of Assembly.

The House of Representatives last Wednesday directed the security agencies to “shut down the House of Assembly and provide adequate security to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by some members-elect.”

However, Ajulo, who was a former Labour Party (LP) national secretary, said the House of Representatives was trying to assume the toga of a National Assembly without the joint or concurrent nod of the Senate.

“Assuming, but without conceding that the House of Representatives has the powers to give such directives, the law provides for a joint sitting of the ‘the National Assembly’ not solely the Senate nor the House of Representatives as provided by Section 11 of the constitution and the required quorum shall be one-third of all the members of both Houses pursuant to Section 54(2) of the constitution,” he said.

He also condemned the directive to Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh directive for the inauguration of the Assembly. He said the nine members present when Obaseki inaugurated the Assembly formed a quorum.

“It is pertinent to note that pursuant to Section 96 of the constitution, the nine members of the state House of Assembly validly constituted the one-third quorum required for the sitting of the House and as such, the National Assembly is precluded from making laws for the state as provided by Section 11(5) of the constitution,” he said.

Ajulo noted that the validity or otherwise of the Edo Assembly is left for the court to determine and not the House of Representatives.

“The validity of the proclamation made by Governor Obaseki pursuant to Section 105(3) of the constitution and the inauguration of the eighth Assembly is left for the court of law to determine,” Ajulo said.

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