The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has ordered the heaping of sand at the front of the Edo State House of Assembly complex following the foiled forceful takeover by security agencies, Igbere TV can authoritatively report.
Igbere TV had reported how security agencies, believed to be drafted from Abuja, on Thursday, stormed the Edo Assembly complex to provide security cover to 17 lawmakers loyal to APC and its governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The move, which was to allow fresh inauguration of the APC loyalists, and the impeachment of the Speaker, Frank Okiye; the Governor and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, was however foiled when Obaseki, Shaibu, and supporters stormed the complex.
Our correspondent later observed that trucks and tippers from the Government House were already heaping sand and other construction materials at the front of the Assembly gate under the guise that renovation was ongoing.
But Igbere TV gathered that the move is to prevent the APC and the ‘Abuja forces’ from forcefully taking over the Assembly. There are also plans to forcefully pull down the Assembly roof by the Governor’s men to prevent any sitting.
The pro-Obaseki lawmakers had been sitting inside the Edo State Government House a.k.a Osadebe Avenue for over a month, claiming the Assembly Complex at Ring Road was being fumigated over COVID-19 scare.
The relocation to the Edo Government House, Igbere TV learned, was to monitor the pro-Obaseki lawmakers and ensure they remain true to the Governor’s causes until the September 19 Governorship election.
‘Why Security Operatives Invaded Edo State Assembly’
There was heavy security presence at the Edo State House of Assembly, Ring Road, earlier on Thursday, with the rumoured takeover by the 17 lawmakers loyal to the APC and Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
Igbere TV had reported that the security officials – comprising of the Department of State Security (DSS), the Police, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) – were drafted from Abuja.
The development came a day after the deputy speaker, Hon. Yekini Idiaye, was reportedly impeached by 7 lawmakers loyal to the State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for pledging loyalty to the APC and Ize-Iyamu.
A member of the Edo APC executive, who pleaded anonymity, said the security measures were to allow the fresh inauguration of the 17 lawmakers loyal to the Party and its candidate.
Igbere TV had reported how a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered both the Senate and the House of Representatives to halt their plan to take over the Edo State House of Assembly.
The case was instituted by the now-impeached deputy speaker to challenge the directive by the National Assembly to Governor Obaseki, to issue a fresh proclamation of the state’s House of Assembly.
The federal lawmakers had threatened to take over the legislative duties and powers of the Edo State House of Assembly should the governor fail to make the fresh proclamation within three weeks.
But, Justice Taiwo ordered the parties in the case to maintain the status quo, pending the determination of the case.
Igbere TV had also reported how a Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court restrained Obaseki from issuing a fresh proclamation to the Edo State House of Assembly.
The court order countered the Nigerian Senate’s resolution which directed Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation to the state assembly in order to bring to an end the political crisis.
Following the pledging of loyalty to Ize-Iyamu and the APC by Idiaye, before his impeachment as deputy speaker, Igbere TV gathered that the lawmaker had secretly withdrawn the case from court.
Besides, a Constitutional lawyer in the State, who craved anonymity, said with the impeachment of the deputy speaker, the case in court is now dead – assuming not already withdrawn.
The crisis in the Edo Assembly began when the Assembly was inaugurated under controversial circumstances at night by the governor with only nine, out of 24 lawmakers-elect, on June 17.
All the 24 lawmakers were members of the APC until the recent defection of about 7 to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alongside Governor Obaseki.
Other lawmakers-elect were excluded from the inauguration to prevent the then National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole’s loyalists from taking control of the legislature, Igbere TV gathered.
As at 9:15 am Thursday morning, our correspondent observed police, NSCDC, and DSS officials around the Complex with arms, blocking access to the House of Assembly.
When contacted for comments, Speaker Frank Okiye said he was not aware of the security presence. But a government official fingered Oshiomhole in the planned takeover.
There are rumors that Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu may be impeached if the plans scale through. Already, a mace and Clerk of the House are on standby for the planned inauguration.