A Federal High Court, on Wednesday, ordered the National Assembly to halt all actions to take over legislative duties of the Edo House of Assembly, pending the determination of a suit before it.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives at different times passed resolutions threatening to take over the running of affairs of the House if the state governor, Godwin Obaseki did not issue a fresh proclaimation.
In a ruling, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ordered parties in the matter to maintain status quo, pending the determination of a suit that was lodged by the Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Hon. Francis Okiye, who was elected by nine out if the 24 members of the Assembly.
The suit is challenging the Senate and the House of Representatives resolutions to take over the running of legislative duties of the state Assembly if Obaseki failed to issue a new proclaimation, convoking the Assembly to accommodate majority of the elected members, who were alleged to have been sidelined in first proclaimation.
At the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday, vacation judge, Justice Taiwo ordered all parties to maintain status quo until the case before the court is disposed of.
Recall both the Senate and the House of Representatives had passed a resolution, asking Obaseki to convoke a new Assembly where the 24 members will be present to elect their leaders.
Nine, out of 24 members of the House, said to be loyal to the governor had allegedly in the first proclaimation met about 9 pm on June 17 and inaugurated the House.
The plaintiffs, Okiye and the Edo Assembly, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019, among others, sought for interpretation of the legality of the directive to Governor to issue a fresh proclamation to inaugurate the House?
They also sought the order of the court to stop both federal Houses to the take over running of the state Assembly.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Ola Olanipekun (SAN), lamented before the court that the Senate had after it was duly served with the legal processes, still passed a resolution on July 30 to takeover the Edo Assembly if the governor fails to issue fresh proclamation.
He said it was disheartening that despite the fact that governor Obaseki’s earlier proclamation was officially gazetted, with members of the State Assembly duly inaugurated and principal members elected, the National Assembly, still vowed to highjack legislative functions in the state.
However, Justice Taiwo fixed August 22 to hear the case, even as he directed the National Assembly to within seven days, respond to the suit.
He said he would have to hear from the respondents before order could be made regarding stopping the take over plans.
He said before an interim injunction against the National Assembly, he was minded to hear the substantive matter on the adjourned date.
Defendants in the matter are the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.