The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has declared that the fate of the 14 members-elect of the state’s House of Assembly, whose seats were declared vacant, rests with the Court.
The seats of the 14 members-elect were in December 2019 declared vacant by the House led by former speaker, Rt. Hon. Francis Okiye, for being absent from the House proceedings for the mandatory 181 days.
The members-elect who were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 are Vincent Uwadiae, Ovia North-East II; Ugiagbe Dumez, Ovia North-East I; Washington Osifo, Uhunmwode; Victor Edoror, Esan Central; Kingsley Ugabi, Etsako East and Michael Ohio-Ezomo, Owan West, were unavailable when the 7th Assembly was proclaimed on June 17, 2019 by the Governor.
Also affected are Sunday Aghedo, Ovia South-West; Chris Okaeben, Oredo West; Crosby Eribo, Egor; Aliyu Oshiomhole, Etsako West II; Oshomah Ahmed, Etsako Central and Ganiyu Audu, Etsako West I alongside two Lawmakers, Mr. Uyi Ekhosuehi and Mr. Eric Okaka representing Oredo East and Owan East Constituency for failing to meet the mandatory 180 sitting days as enshrined in the Constitution.
Pastor Osagie-Iyamu, Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State had on Monday, appealed to Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to opt out of court settlement and pardon APC members-elect.
His appeal comes barely 48 hours after APC lost its bid to prove alleged certificate forgery suit against the incumbent Governor who was the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) Candidate in the governorship election at the supreme court.
But on Wednesday, Obaseki, dismissed the calls to pardon the Assembly members-elect at an interactive session with stakeholders from Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other Civil society groups where he called for the support of all Stakeholders towards achieving lasting peace and development in Edo.
According to him, “Some characters said they sent congratulatory letters to me and put it in all kinds of conditions.
“How can you tell me to forgive those 14 lawmakers-elect who are responsible for sedition and treason in Nigeria? Of course, we are going to start charges.”
Obaseki continued: “You see, what is bad is bad. Let’s stop covering up things so that people can learn and not do it again. We have gotten support from all of you and are very glad and happy; your support gives us the confidence to continue to fight.
“For us as a government, we are open. There is nothing that we are hiding and this is why we have to kill anything that links us to godfatherism. We have killed it at the national level and need to kill it locally as it is everywhere. I urge you to please be activists for good, peace and development.”
“This engagement is to see how we can collaborate and make things work differently; this is a time that we need leadership more than ever before,” he noted.
On his part, the Chairman of NLC in Edo State, Mr. Sunday Osanyande, urged the government to digitize revenue collection by migrating to e-revenue collection systems, which will check leakages.
Osanyande said that the e-revenue collection system would further increase the state government Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).