Reps admit ‘mistake’ in resolutions on Edo Assembly crisis

The House of Representatives has confirmed an omission in its resolutions on the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

The House said it would now wait for the outcome of the investigation of the crisis by the Senate.

A member of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Yusuf Gadgi, who briefed journalists in Abuja on Friday, noted that the House did not include a resolution to transmit the decisions to the Senate for concurrence as it did in the case of the Bauchi State House of Assembly.

PUNCH had reported last Sunday that the House and the Senate were in a rivalry over the crisis rocking the Edo Assembly.

The House penultimate Wednesday adopted the report by its ad hoc committee set up to probe into the crisis.

The committee had visited Benin, the state capital, on a fact-finding mission, the same day that panel set up by the Senate visited the state for the same purpose.

When Gadgi was asked if the House would take over the running of the Edo Assembly one week after it made resolutions on the matter, he said, “The House of Representatives is not God. We made mistakes.”

He added, “I am saying that our decision for approving the recommendations by the committee of which I was a member – the committee that investigated the Edo State Assembly crisis; we gave one week upon which the government should act, failure of which we would invoke Section 11(4) of the Constitution that donates power to the House of Representatives to do the needful whenever there is crisis.

“But be that as it may, if you look at the report on Bauchi (Assembly) investigation, there was one item that was added to that of Bauchi (panel’s report); that the House should transmit its recommendations to the Senate.”

In a situation where there are two committees put in place by the House and the Senate, I think the positions need to be put together by the two organs of the National Assembly before any other thing.

“That was why Bauchi (panel) gave one month and Mr. Speaker equally ruled that they should be treated the same way. The report of Edo (panel) too should be harmonised with that of the Senate, after which we will wait and see if the position of the Senate concurs with that of the House.

“And within the period, from the day the Senate takes a position on these two states, and the governors refuse to act in that direction, definitely we are going to employ the service of Section 11(4) of the Constitution.”

The recommendations by the panel on Edo, which were approved by the House, were, “That the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, in the interest of peaceful coexistence of the state, should issue a fresh proclamation within one week in line with Section 105(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), stating the date, time and venue (of the inauguration), and publish in any national daily and television station.

“That all actions taken by the 7th Assembly members should be declared null and void pending proper inauguration.

“That all members of the Edo State House of Assembly, both those who have been inaugurated and those who have not been inaugurated should dissolve their factions in the interest of peace and stability of the House, with the view to moving the state forward.

“That the Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General, Department of State Services, should shut down the Edo State House of Assembly and provide adequate security to allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by members-elect.

“Where recommendations 1, 2 and 3 above fail, the National Assembly should invoke the provisions of Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to take over the state House of Assembly until the situation normalises.”

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