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Senate Begins Investigation Into Edo Assembly Crisis

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Senate Chamber

The Senate on Thursday commenced investigation into the crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly.

The Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the crisis led by Sen. Abdullahi Sabi (APC Niger) invited 12 out of 24 lawmakers from the state for questioning.

Before the committee went into a closed-door session, the chairman said members would be guided on the area to go into in the matter.

He said: “This committee is only interested in the matter as provided for in the constitution.

“Our interest is to ensure that law and order prevail in Edo State House of Assembly.

“We won’t go into the areas of judicial jurisdiction, but areas spelt out by the senate.

Sen. Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu) in his remarks also noted that the committee not going to encroach on the functions of the court in the process of carrying out its duty.

Earlier, Mr Washington Uza , who led the lawmakers before the committee urged the Senate to save democracy in Edo.

Uza narrated how Gov. Godwin Obaseki allegedly denied them in partaking in the state assembly inauguration.

The legislator also alleged that they were eventually arrested and detained by the security agents on June 18.

He urged the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, invoke its powers as enshrined in the constitution and save democracy in Edo.

“Though this is APC family affair but we need an arbiter from outside the family to resolve this matter.

“The world is watching us. We are urging the Senate to help us invoke the power and spirit of the constitution to save the situation.

“We want to go back to Edo and do our work as elected lawmakers of our people.

“On June 7, the 8th Edo State House of Assembly came to an end, and in accordance with section 105 (3) of the constitution, the governor is expected to issue a proclamation but he refused to do so and said he would do it at a convenient time.

“Gov. Obaseki ordered that we should be arrested and detained on June 18, 2019 and after our release we have been living in Abuja.

“Abuja is no longer safe for us, we want to go back to our habitat. Our constituents are being denied adequate representation at home.

“We were not part of the inauguration, no message was communicated to us that it was eventually going to take place,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan on July 10, set up an ad hoc committee to look into the crisis and make recommendations.

The decision followed a point of order raised by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti) calling on the Senate to wade into the crisis and prevent further developments.

 

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