Edo Assembly Speaker sues National Assembly over takeover plan

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Francis Okiye, Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly has filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja to stop the National Assembly from taking over the state assembly’s functions.

In the suit filed by the speaker and the state assembly, the plaintiffs asked Justice Nkeonye Maha to restrain the National Assembly from going ahead with its plans pending the hearing on the matter.

There has been uproar about the  state’s seventh assembly being inaugurated in controversial circumstances on June 17, when nine out of 24 members-elect during inauguration elected Okiye as the speaker around 9 p.m.

However, besides the House of Representatives that threatened to take over the assembly should Gov. Godwin Obaseki fail to issue a fresh proclamation for the assembly’s inauguration, the Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution giving the governor a week to issue the proclamation letter or risk the takeover of the state legislature.

The suit was instituted on July 17 against Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the Clerk of the National Assembly (first defendant), and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second defendant).

The matter, which was brought before Justice Maha on July 23, was earlier adjourned until July 31 for hearing since the parties were yet to be served.

However, the lead Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ola Olanipekun, SAN, told the court that after the defendants had been properly served as ordered by the court, the Senate on Tuesday, July 30, still went ahead and passed a resolution for the takeover of the assembly if the governor fails to comply with its resolution.

He explained that the defendants, through their lawyers, had served the plaintiffs a counter affidavit to their motion and written address and also filed a memorandum of conditional appearance.

The judge adjourned the case until Aug. 7 to enable the complainants respond to the counter affidavit and written address filed by lawyers to the National Assembly.  The judge  has however asked the parties to respect the sanctity of the court as the matter is still pending.




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