Edo Assembly Crisis: Clark Disagrees With House Of Reps

Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark has disagreed with the House of Representatives for its stand on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis.

Clark noted that the order to the Inspector-General of Police (IG) to shut down the Assembly, and Governor Godwin Obaseki to rescind the earlier proclamation, was wrong and unconstitutional.

According to him, the House of Representatives alone cannot take action on such a matter as the Constitution provides for joint (Senate and House of Representatives) National Assembly action.

He, therefore, urged Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to rescind the order to shut the Edo Assembly. The elder statesman also urged the National Assembly to wait for the Court ruling since there was a litigation on the issue.

Clark, who addressed reporters yesterday in Abuja, said: “Section 11 of the Constitution empowers the National Assembly to take over the affairs of a state House of Assembly if there is crisis in the House and it is unable to function. However, Section 11(4) states that -at any time when any state House of Assembly is unable to perform its functions by reasons of the situation prevailing in that state, the National Assembly may take such laws for peace, order and good government of that state, with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the state House of Assembly: provided that nothing in this shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the governor or the deputy governor of the state from office.”

Clark noted that the sections of the constitution cited referred to the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) hence; the House alone does not have the power to singlehandedly give directives on Edo Assembly, rather the two chambers must act together.

He therefore posited that “The House of Representatives alone has no power or authority to interfere in the affairs of the Edo State House of Assembly as it is asserted to have done. It is unconstitutional and of no legal effect. The Senate acting on the same subject said it has not completed its findings and it will soon come to a resolution of the matter which is at variance with the position already taken by the House of Reps.

“Simply put, only the Senate and House of Representatives, which form the National Assembly, have the power or authority to interfere in the matter of Edo State of Assembly. The Senate cannot do it alone, and the House of Representatives cannot also do it alone. The two must act together.”

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