Edo Assembly: We’ll obey lawful resolution on 14 members-elect — INEC

Edo Assembly: We’ll obey lawful resolution on 14 members-elect — INEC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will obey any lawful resolution of the parliament concerning Edo State House of Assembly which declared the seats of 12 lawmakers-elect and two others, Mr Uyi Ekhosuehi and Mr Henry Okaka representing  Oredo East and Owan East respectively who didn’t meet 180 mandatory sitting requirement to continue as members of the House.

The affected 12 members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae Ovia North-East 2, Ugiagbe Dumez  Ovia North-East 1, Washington Osifo Uhunmwode, Victor Edoror  Esan Central, Kingsley Ugabi  Etsako East, Michael Ohio-Ezomo  Owan West.

Others are Sunday Aghedo Ovia  South-West, Chris Okaeben  Oredo West, Crosby Eribo  Egor, Aliyu Oshiomhole  Etsako  West 2, Oshomah  Ahmed  Etsako Central and Ganiyu  Audu  Etsako West 1.

Mr. Rotimi L. Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, told Daily Trust yesterday in Abuja that the Commission, as a law-abiding institution was committed to obeying the law.

He was reacting to Wednesday’s proclamation of the Edo State House of Assembly declaring vacant the seats of 14 members-elect who were yet to be sworn in following controversies trailing the inauguration of the parliament.

He however said he was not aware if the Edo Assembly pronouncement has been formally sent to the commission. “Unless there is a valid court order served on the commission, asking it to take an action or asking it to stay action on an issue, it is duty bound to obey any lawful pronouncement that is it responsibility,” Oyekanmi said.

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The Edo State Assembly had during its plenary on Wednesday, presided over by the Speaker, Francis Okiye, declared the seats vacant and asked INEC to within 90 days conduct by-elections into the affected constituencies.

But, Spokesman of the members-elect, Washington Osifo, representing Uhunmwode constituency, described the action of the House as laughable.

He said the embattled members-elect have said the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, lacked the power to declare their seats vacant.

“It is a laughing matter because the matter is before the court and when a matter is before the court such action is prejudice.

“We are challenging the illegal inauguration of the house and anything put on nothing cannot stand.

“We are not surprised because illegality begets illegality and for Okiye to be working with Governor Godwin Obaseki, the right thing cannot be done. So we were not surprised because those who do not mean well for the people are entrusted with responsibility,” he said.

On his part, Chris Okaeben, representing Oredo West constituency, said Okiye Edo currently has no House of Assembly as it did not form a quorum as spelt out by the 1999 Constitution.

Also speaking, a former speaker of the house, Hon Victor Edoror, representing Esan Central constituency, said his constituents are happy with his decision to stay away from what he termed illegal assembly.

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Also responding Seidu Oshiomhole, representing Etsako Constituency II, said the speaker was dreaming as he lacked the power to declare their seats vacant.

Commenting on the development, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Charles Idahosa, who hails from Uhunmwonde, said it was regrettable that the members-elect chose to stay away from the House because of their selfish interests and in the process, deprived their people of credible representation in the House.

 According to him, “It is a well-known fact that the House is made up of 24 members elected under the APC, to serve their people. Those who decided to stay away have been shown the exit door and it is the right thing to do since the people were starved of credible representation.”

Mr. Ibrahim Azeez from Etsako Central said the declaration by the House was in order, noting that people in his Community have never supported the idea of absconding from the House, when there was serious legislative work to be done.

He added, “I am very delighted with the move. The House has shown that it has a mind of its own and that members of the Assembly have the interest of the people at heart”, he said.


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