Reps storm Edo Thursday over Assembly crisis

Reps storm Edo Thursday over Assembly crisis

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The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee set up to investigate the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly has resolved to visit the State Thursday for a fact finding.

Abdulrazak Namadas, Chairman of the ad hoc Committee made this known at a meeting with 15 yet- to -be inaugurated inaugurated Members of Edo State House of Assembly in Abuja.

Namadas said the Committee would be in Edo state to meet with the governor, other members of the House and all stakeholders in the matter, stressing that as a fact-finding Committee, they would be fair to all parties involved.

“Members of the State Assembly cannot even go back to their state, we decided to begin our interaction with them. We invited them to.
We shall be moving to Edo State tomorrow to meet with the governor.

“The reason is to know whether a proclamation was issued. It is only fair to hear from him other than any other person. Afterwards, we will meet with the other 9 members, the clerk of the House so that we get the facts ready.

“We are honorable members, we will be fair to all. There will be no witch hunting. People should not preempt issues”, he said.

Briefing the ad hoc Committee, the 15 Edo State Lawmakers alleged that Governor Godwin Obaseki of the state was offering N5 million and Prado jeep as a way of placating them after their inauguration.

They explained that the offers were being made to elicit their support to the current leadership of the House and stop them from demanding its proper inauguration.

Chris Okaeben, member representing Oredo West State constituency submitted that the crisis was principally occasioned by their determination to achieve legislative independence and free the Assembly from the control of Governor Obaseki and the Executive arm.

He said that most of the returning members were embarrassed by the level of executive control in the immediate past Assembly and vowed never to return to that situation

Okaeben noted that was this resolve that the governor decided to divide the members and destabilize the Assembly.

Eric Okakah another member-elect also testifying before the Committee gave a horrific details of how he was abducted by a leader he had confidence in, taken to the Government House and was later conveyed in a bus alongside others to forcefully participate in the inauguration against his wish.

Okakah told the committee that he was also harassed, intimidated and manhandled by the security operatives especially the police who were doing the bidding of the governor.

He alleged that he was offered N5 million in a Ghana-must-go bag at the government house to participate but he rejected the offer.

Similarly, another member-elect, Washington Osifo also told the committee that there was no form of communication, formal or informal to them to come for the inauguration of the House even after they had held two press conferences, urging the governor to issue proclamation for 7th Assembly.

He said that it was a surprise to them that eight of their colleagues could secretly go for the inauguration only for them to get the pictures of the events later in the social media.

 

James Kwen, Abuja



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