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Tension mounts at Edo House of Assembly as suspended PDP lawmakers vow to ignore High Court order

By Nelson Dafe, Benin City on 16/06/2014

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Tension hangs ominously in the air as the Edo State House of Assembly resumes sitting today. This is because the suspended lawmakers belonging to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have vowed to ignore a Benin High Court order that bars them from attending plenary.

Speaking late last week in Benin City, the suspended lawmakers argued that they would not be denied from representing their constituencies by the court order.

The House of Assembly led by Speaker Uyi Igbe had last week been engulfed in crisis after four PDP lawmakers were suspended for allegedly embarking on surreptitious attempts to financially induce members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House to decamp from the party to the PDP.

Last Wednesday, there was a brawl between members of the House over who should preside over plenary following the counter suspension of Speaker Uyi Igbe by the PDP lawmakers the previous day. The PDP legislators, who had elected Deputy Speaker Festus Ebea as Speaker, later agreed to allow Igbe preside after hours of stalemate amidst discussions to resolve the impasse.

Shortly after resumption of sitting, Igbe read out the court injunction and announced that “(following the court order, the four suspended lawmakers) should not be sitting in the House today.”

However, one of the suspended legislators, Patrick Osayimwen, raised an objection shortly after and told the Speaker that they (the suspended members) had not been served the court order. The House then adjourned sitting till Monday, June 16.

The genesis of the Edo House of Assembly crisis is traceable to the mass defection of APC members in the state, led by a party stalwart, Mr. Ize Iyamu, to the opposition PDP. Iyamu (who is widely believed to habour aspirations to be governor when the tenure of incumbent Adams Oshiomhole ends) left the APC after he felt schemed out in internal elections held by the party some months ago.

The four suspended legislators who recently defected from the APC are said to be staunch loyalists to Ize Iyamu. They have denied allegations that they are planning to bomb the House of Assembly building if things do not go their way today.

•Photo shows the front view of the Edo House of Assembly, known as Anthony Enahoro Complex.

Source News Express

Posted 16/06/2014 11:41:54 AM

 

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