Edo Assembly crisis: Lawyer faults suit against inauguration

August 4, 2019
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A Benin based lawyer, Barrister. Olayiwola Afolabi, has faulted the suit filed by some members-elect challenging the June 17 inauguration of nine lawmakers.

Barrister Afolabi said there were deficiencies in the suit.

Hon. Victor Edoror, Barr Washington Osifo and Hon Crosby Eribo on behalf of 12 other members in Suit no B/810S/2019 is asking the court to declare the June 17 inauguration as “unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and a nullity ab initio”.

They are also seeking a declaratio that the election of Okiye and Idiaye as Speaker and Deputy Speaker as ineffectual, illegal and should be set aside.

The claimants want the court to determine whether by virtue of Section 91 of the constitution of Nigeria, Edo State House of Assembly is constituted by only nine members.

Barrister Afolabi who is one of the Counsel for defendants said claims of Edoror and others saying there were no proper parties before the court were wrong.

Afolabi stated that in civil proceedings there must be proper parties before the court and that since the other 12 members elect were specifically mentioned in the suit, the court has no jurisdiction.

Read Also: Edo councils to adopt new revenue collection system

He said the claimants lacked powers to bring federal institutions into the case in the state High Court as their actions could only be questioned at the federal High Court.

Afolabi noted that the 14 lawmakers-elect have not complied with Section 94 of the 1999 constitution as amended which give conditions a member-elect must meet before being addressed as a lawmaker.

He said, “The claimants have not shown any documentary evidence to the fact that they have been sworn as Honourable members of the Edo State House of Assembly members thus making them lack the locus to bring the suit to contest the inauguration of the 7th assembly”.

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