Court restrains National Assembly from taking over Edo legislature
Buhari promises to intervene in S’South state, Bauchi crises
The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, halted moves by the National Assembly to take over the affairs of the Edo State House of Assembly. Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered parties in the suit challenging the alleged plans by the federal legislature to interfere in the duties of the state lawmakers to stay action until the determination of the substantive matter.
Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, had filed a legal action, contesting the directives by the two chambers of the National Assembly to Governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the chamber over the lingering feud.
The National Assembly had threatened to take over the legislative duties and powers of the state House of Assembly should the governor fail to make the fresh proclamation within one week.The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019, has the Clerk of the National Assembly and both chambers of the federal legislature as respondents.
It seeks to stop the federal legislators from interfering with or taking over the functions of the state Assembly.At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the plaintiff, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), told the court that there were alleged threats by the respondents to tamper with the subject of the dispute.
Granting the order to stay every action, the judge held that it was intended to prevent parties, particularly the respondents, from foisting on the court a fait accompli.
Justice Taiwo however refused to hear the plaintiff’s motion for an interlocutory injunction, but chose to grant an accelerated hearing to the substantive matter.Before adjourning the hearing of the substantive suit till August 22, 2019, the presiding judge ordered the respondents to file their responses to the main suit within seven days and for the plaintiff to file his reply within five days.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to resolve the crises rocking the Bauchi and Edo state legislatures.The pledge was contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, after receiving some aggrieved members of the Bauchi House of Assembly yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The 17 members, who had presented selves for inauguration, backtracked after the meeting.Specifically, they had rejected what they described as an imposition of minority over the majority.
But the lawmakers proceeded to form a parallel leadership, but few days ago, they made a U-turn and agreed to be inaugurated. The factional speaker, Kawuwa Damina, had led the remaining 16 members to take their oaths of office and allegiance, a development that was seen as a move that would tame the crisis in the house. However, after yesterday’s meeting, Damina told State House correspondents that the APC members had rescinded their decision, adding that they want the right thing to be done.
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