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Clark to Lawan, Senate position on Edo Assembly unconstitutional, wrong



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A Niger Delta leader and former Minister of Information, Edwin Clark, has described as wrong and unconstitutional, the position of the Nigerian Senate on the crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly.

He stated this in a letter to Senate President Ahmed Lawan, which was sighted by journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Clark, Section 101 of the constitution allows every legislature to adopt its own house rules.

The Senate had last week ordered the state governor Godwin Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for another inauguration of the House, or risk the National Assembly to take over the state House of Assembly.

Senate’s position came after the House of Representatives had earlier asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP), to take over the assembly.

But Clark, who disagreed with the National Assembly, warned that the Federal lawmakers should not create anarchy in Edo State .

“I stressed the issue of the House’ inability to function as a sine qua none, defeating any pretence of the House of Representatives to interfere. Rather than abate, it appears that the House of Representatives went on to recruit the Senate, or the Red Chamber saw a competitive angle in the matter and plunged in, head first, eyes closed, to complement the House of Representatives in the perverse onslaught in the Edo State governance structure.

“The Senate seems not aware of or is too possessed of a mindset that blinds it against the many provisions in the constitution which supersedes the fact that the two components of the National Assembly working in tandem on the Edo State project.

“For the avoidance of any doubt, I ask the National Assembly to take into consideration Section 11 (4), which states that ‘at any time when any House of Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions by reasons of the situation prevailing in that state, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good governance with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the state: provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office…’

“It is unconstitutional and wrong for the National Assembly to ‘order, direct’ the Edo State Governor to issue a fresh proclamation. Section 3 places such activity squarely on the Exclusive List.

“The Edo State House of Assembly at present is functioning properly, and in fact, has gone to court to challenge the action of the 16 elected members who were not present at the inauguration, who in fact, were not yet members of the Edo State House of Assembly, because, they were not been sworn in by the elected Speaker of the House,” Clark said.

READ ALSO: Hospital equipment, 6 tractors for constituency project recovered from Akpabio, Misau

Some members of the Edo Assembly loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had cried to the National Assembly to intervene in the crisis rocking the state assembly.

About 16 of them, alleged that Governor Obaseki secretly inaugurated members of the assembly apparently loyal to him, and left them out.

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