A pro-democracy group, the Strategy Advocacy Outreach (SAO), has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, over the lingering crisis that has left 14 members of the Edo State House of Assembly not to be inaugurated.
The CSO, in a letter, decried the 14 members’ inability to provide representation to their constituents owing to the situation and the protracted legal suits.
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The petitioners also copied the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, over the lingering dispute.
The group’s convener, Mr John Mayaki, described the situation as the “detention of democracy in Edo State” while calling on the leaders to take urgent action to resolve the crisis and ensure the inauguration of the sidelined members before the expiration of their term.
On December 14, 2019 the seats of the 14 members-elect were declared vacant by the leadership of the house, which affected Victor Edoror (Esan Central), Washington Osifo (Uhunmwonde), Vincent Uwadiae (Ovia North East 2), Ugiagbe Dumez (Ovia North East 1) and Sunday Aghedo (Ovia South West).
Others are Crosby Eribo (Egor), Chris Okaeben (Oredo West), Kingsley Ugabi (Etsako East), Ganiyu Audu (Etsako West 1), Seidu Oshiomhole (Etsako West 2), Oshomah Ahmed (Etsako Central), and Michael Ohio-Ezomo (Owan West).
Uyi Ekhosuehi (Oredo East) and Henry Okaka (Owan East) were said to have been inaugurated but failed to meet the mandatory 181-day sitting requirement for a member in a calendar year.
The face-off between Governor Godwin Obaseki and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has been blamed for the non-inauguration of the legislators, and the situation worsened after 12 members failed to attend the June 17, 2019 inauguration, leaving only 10 members to take the oath.