Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila

By Godwin Anene

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday ruled that the National Assembly lacks powers to take over the duties of the Edo State Assembly.

Justice James Omotosho delivered the ruling in a suit filed by the Deputy Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Mr Yekini Idiaye and member representing Ikpoba-Okha Constituency, Henry Okhuarobo.

Justice Omotosho in a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/159/2019 also ruled that NASS has no constitutional power to give orders to seal the Edo State Assembly.

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The Clerk of the National Assembly, Senate President, Speaker of House of Representatives, Inspector-General of Police, DSS and the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki are defendants/respondents in the suit.

The court had in response to preliminary orders sought by the Plaintiffs earlier in August restrained the “1st-3rd Defendant/Respondents (Clerk of NASS, Senate President and Speaker, House of Reps), their servant, agents, officers or privies from interfering or taking over legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

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Omotosho in the further hearing of the orders sought in August also restrained Inspector General of Police and State Security Service, their servants, agents, officers or privies from sealing up the Edo State House of Assembly, or obstructing the House’s activities.

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However, Omotosho while delivering judgement on the substantive suit on Thursday, specifically condemned infringing NASS interference in Edo Assembly matters, stressing that National Assembly lacks powers to take over the State Assembly.

Omotosho further stressed that only the court of law has the power to make findings on issues bothering Edo State Assembly if the House is unable to have its sittings, after which NASS can take over based on the court’s decision.


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