Rochas Okorocha warns senate against interfering in Edo House of Assembly crisis



Okorocha has advised the senate to steer clear of the crisis in the Edo House of Assembly and allow the APC settle it all as a family affair.
Senator Rochas Okorocha says the senate should steer off crisis in Edo Assembly (Punch)
Senator Rochas Okorocha says the senate should steer off crisis in Edo Assembly (Punch)

Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha who represents Imo West in the upper legislative chamber, has kicked against the senate's interference in the crisis currently rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

9 of the 24 members of the State House of Assembly held impromptu elections to settle on a Speaker and other principal officers.

Governor Godwin Obaseki would go on to proclaim the house which followed it all up with a formal inauguration.

However, 15 members who were absent at the election of the principal officers of the house, have not been inaugurated.
Inauguration of nine members of the Edo State House of Assembly (ChannelsTV)
Inauguration of nine members of the Edo State House of Assembly (ChannelsTV)

These 15 members are demanding that Governor Obaseki withdraws his earlier proclamation recognizing the leadership of the house.

Obaseki's contention, however, is that his initial proclamation stands and that he can't issue a second.

Okorocha kicks against interference

This week, the senate considered a senate report on Obaseki's reluctance to inaugurate the Edo State House of Assembly for a second time.

Okorocha kicked against any form of interference because the senate risks going beyond its jurisdiction on a decision which, he said, was best left for the APC to settle as an in-house affair.

"From what I've heard here, it looks like we're eager to take over the Edo state house of assembly," Okorocha said. "Looking at the report of the party, the clerk and all, it looks like a family of the APC which the leadership of the APC should find a way to solve."
Rochas Okorocha (left) and President Muhammadu Buhari during an event [The Sun Nigeria]
Rochas Okorocha (left) and President Muhammadu Buhari during an event [The Sun Nigeria]

"There's no proof whatsoever that the Edo state house of assembly isn't functioning," Okorocha added. "We've had cases here or in the federal house where maces were taken away and no other national assembly came from anywhere to take over activities.

"I think this matter should not go outside the senate. Those of us in the caucus of the APC should resolve a family matter rather than make it a national assembly issue. What's happening here is a failure of leadership and it should be resolved", he added.

The former Imo Governor advised his colleagues to "exercise restraint lest we bring ourselves to ridicule".
Godwin Obaseki, Edo Governor, says he can't issue a second proclamation (ThisDayLive)
Godwin Obaseki, Edo Governor, says he can't issue a second proclamation (ThisDayLive)

Regardless, the Senate on Monday issued the order compelling Edo Governor Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation inaugurating the Edo State House of Assembly within a week.

The Edo State Government has since defied the order, regarding it as unconstitutional and a blatant disregard of the principle of separation of powers.

A statement signed by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, declared that, “this illegality will not stand” and urged, “powerful persons not to be allowed to set our state ablaze merely to satisfy their thirst for power and control.”
Police takes over Edo Assembly following crisis
Police takes over Edo Assembly following crisis

Nigeria runs a presidential system of government with the principle of separation of powers underpinning how the the three arms of government--executive, judiciary and legislature-- dispense powers in the federation.

The national assembly is constitutionally empowered to interfere in the affairs of state legislatures when they run into trouble or are dealing with internal conflicts.

Governor Obaseki and national Chairman of the governing APC, Adams Oshiomhole, are currently locked in a supremacy battle for Edo.

Sources say the crisis in the state legislature has everything to do with the battle between both men.

Obaseki succeeded Oshiomhole as governor of the state.
Jude Egbas

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