Former president of Aka Ikenga, Goddy Uwazuruike, has faulted Thursday’s impeachment of the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and his deputy, Frank Okiye and Roland Asoro, respectively and the subsequent election of new presiding officers.
He said that the action is “a tragic comedy of Shakespearean proportion”, as the 17 lawmakers involved in the action lacked the power to do so, even as he said that 14 of them are not valid members of the Edo State House of Assembly.
17 lawmakers, including 14-members-elect whose seats were declared vacant, convened in an undisclosed location and impeached Okiye and Asoro and elected Victor Edoror, as Speaker.
Uwazuruike, a lawyer, however said the lawmakers can the legislative business of the Edo state legislatures can only be conducted in the House of Assembly.
He said, “It appears to me from the intention of the Constitution that the House of Assembly will sit in the building provided for it and for that purpose. By the provision of Section 104 of the Constitution, the House shall sit for a period of not less than one hundred and eighty-one days in a year. By Section 108(1), the Governor of a State may attend a meeting of the House of Assembly either to deliver an address on State affairs or to make such statement on the policy of government as he may consider to be of importance to the State. In my humble view, a community reading of the two sections show that the intention of the Constitution is to make the House of Assembly sit physically in the building provided, for that purpose. If I am wrong and the appellants are right. It will then mean that the Governor has to move to a Hotel to address the members any time the House sits there and he wants to take advantage of Section 108. Can that be the intention of the makers of the Constitution? Will that not be ridiculous?
He said the people who impeached the Speaker and his deputy were not valid legislators and therfore lacked the power to take such action.
“Those who took part in the proceedings were elected but not sworn in. Besides, their seats were already declared vacant by the Edo Legislature. One cannot perform the functions of a legislator if the person is not one. Former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja had a running battle with his godfather, Lamidi Adedibu, just like Gov Godwn Obaseki is having with Adams Oshomole. Adedibu got the some legislators to sit outside the House of Assembly to impeach Gov Ladoja. They successfully removed him as governor, but the Supreme Court declared the whole exercise a charade, null and void as the legislature can only sit in the House. So yesterday’s sitting has already been decided by the Supreme Court. Ladoja’s case is however, slightly different because those who impeached him were existing members of the house. But those who took part in the Edo State proceedings were elected but not sworn in. Besides, their seats were already declared vacant by the Edo Legislature. One cannot perform the functions of a legislator if the person is not one”, he said.