Recall that trouble started in the House when only nine out of the 24 members-elect, all belonging to the then ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, were clandestinely inaugurated by the clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai following alleged secret proclamation by the state governor, Godwin Obaseki. All efforts to get apolitical solution to the crisis had met a brick wall as the governor insisted that only the courts could adjudicate on the matter.
But in what appears to be a last-ditch effort to resolve the impasse, the G-14 Advocacy Group, after their meeting in Benin City on Saturday, decided to send a Save-Our-Soul, SOS message to relevant authorities not to continue to ignore what they described as “a calculated attempt to derail democracy” the country had enjoyed since 1999, which they argued, the Edo Assembly saga represented.
Spokesman of the group and Edo North Coordinator, Sunny Ifijen, appealed to the AGF, as well as the NJC, to look into issues surrounding the delay in the dispensation of justice in the matter. Ifijen noted that the delay in the case, which had been in the law court for over two years, had denied no fewer than 1.6 million people representation. He described the EDHA as presently constituted, as illegal, adding that every action and decision taken so far by the Assembly would be challenged in due course. According to him, “It bothers us that for almost three years, the Government of Edo, as led by Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has not seen anything wrong with the state legislature as constituted. Not only that, it is totally wrong for 10 persons to be sitting and making laws for the state in an Assembly of 24 members while the other 14 constituencies have been denied representation. This is not only an affront to the law of the land, but a calculated attempt to derail democracy that we have seemingly enjoyed since 1999.
“Our pain is the fact that the matter of non-inauguration of the other 14 lawmakers-elect which had been before the State High Court, had been deliberately delayed by the government to serve their purpose. It is for this reason that we are calling on the federal government, through the AGF and NJC, to look into the matter with a view of ensuring quick dispensation of justice on it”.
Other leaders of the group present at the meeting included Harrison Ogbofa, Collins Amadin, and Okoduwa Solomon, State, Edo South, and Edo Central coordinators respectively.