In what might lead to the end of the cosy relationship between the executive and legoslature arms in Edo State, ensued Wednesday, when a sharp disagreement put Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and the House of Assembly at dagger drawn.
The bone of contention was a resolution by the Edo State House of Assembly on the end of tenure of local government chairmen in the State.
The House on April 18 had told the outgoing local government chairmen to hand over to the Heads of Service in their various local governments as their tenure expires Thursday.
The directive however did not go down well with Oshiomhole who disagreed with the House over who has the right to dissolve the Councils. The Governor in a letter to the House on Wednesday, described the resolution as inappropriate, unacceptable and a usurpation of powers of the Executive arm, adding that the House lacks the power to give such directive.
“My attention has been drawn to the resolution of the House directives asking local government chairmen to hand over administration on April 21, 2016.
”The resolution is a usurpation of the powers of the Executive. The House does not have the power to give such directives.
”I have already directed the local government chairmen to submit their handing over note and transmit such to the office of the Governor,” he said.
But in a swift reaction to the letter on the floor of the House, the member representing Akoko-Edo Constituency I (APC), said the House derived its powers from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Mr Speaker, I want to state clearly that the House has the powers to make laws for the state and any other matter not included in the exclusive list.
“We did not dissolve the Councils. What we did was to remind them that their tenure expires on Thursday, April 21, 2016 and directed them to hand over administration to their various heads of local government as there can be no vacuum in government.
“I want to move that the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon, be invited to explain why he has misinformed the governor on Constitutional matters,” Adjoto said.
The submission of Adjoto was unanimously adopted the other lawmakers.
The House however ruled that they acted within the ambit of the law and the powers conferred on her by Sections 4,6 and 7 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 10(1) of the Local Government Law 2000, as amended.
Consequently, the Speaker, Victor Edoror, reaffirmed the decision of the House resolution directing the Council Chairmen to hand over administration to their HoS at the expiration of their tenure on Thursday.
The House also summoned the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to appear before the House on Tuesday, April 26.
Relationship between Oshiomhole and the House has been seen by Edo people as that between a headmaster and that of students.
This is because apart from the fact that all members of the House are protege of Oshiomhole, the House has never for once questioned the Governor’s actions. All his requests had always gone through with the speed of lightening.
This flexing of muscles, many predict, will put them on war path, and given the fact that Oshiomhole is leaving office by September this year, while the House has three and half years to go, for once the House will defy the Governor and call off his bluff.