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General News of Thursday, 18 November 2021

Source: punchng.com

Some interests capitalising on Assembly crisis to attack me – Lalong

Simon Lalong Simon Lalong

About two years and six months after their election in 2019, 14 members of the Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday approached the Code of Conduct Bureau, in Abuja, demanding for an investigation into the activities of the Assembly Clerk, Audu Omogbai.

They demanded among other things that they be sworn into office because their continued exclusion from legislative activities was depriving their constituents their constitutional rights of representation.

They called on the CCB to intervene and rescue democracy, warning that, “Edo will be a dirty reference point in years to come.”

The legislators, who were received by the chairman of CCB, Prof. Mohammed Isah, were led by a former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Victor Edohor and former Commissioner for Education, Washington Osifo.

Edohor said, “Your reputation gave birth to your engagement in CCB. Two years and six months, we have not been integrated into the House of Assembly. We, therefore, feel this is the right place to be.”

Osifo also said, “It is in the spirit to ensure that peoples rights are not jeopardized that we are here.”

He gave an insight on how on March 17 2019, 24 members of the House of Assembly, were nominated, having won election.

Osifo said, “On June 17 2019, 10 days after the expiration of the life span of the last assembly, Governor Godwin Obaseki failed to inaugurate us with a proclamation.”

The petition by the aggrieved legislators titled, ‘Complaint of gross abuse of powers and the precipitation of crisis at the Edo State House of Assembly by Alhaji Audu Yahaya Omogbai-Clerk of the Edo State House of Assembly,’ was dated November 16 2021.

It was signed by Victor Edoror, Esan Central; Crosby Eribo, Egor; Washington Osa Osifo, Uhunmwode; Christopher Okaeben, Oredo West; Seid Oshiomhole, Etsako West 1; Michael Ohio Ezomo, Owan West, Sunday Aghedo, Ovia South West and seven others.

The petition read in part, “Although, the Edo State House of Assembly was purportedly ‘inaugurated’ on June 17, 2019, by the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Audu Omogbai, we were wrongfully and unconstitutionally excluded from the said “inauguration”, an act that has precipitated a constitutional crisis in the State where the EDHA, contrary to the clear and unambiguous provisions of section 91 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), is presently constituted by a minority of 10 members to the exclusion of 14 members, who constitute the majority.”

He told the CCB boss that this action was a violation of provisions of Articles 1 and 9 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers as contained in the 5th schedule to the constitution.

In response, the CCB chairman said, “The CCB is an unbiased umpire. I assure you that we are going to look into your petition thoroughly and apply all that is necessary. Although you came with the press, investigations are meant to be confidential, it’s not going to be the same.”

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