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 Edo Assembly crisis: Edwin Clark sends strong-worded letter to Senate President, Lawan

Edo Assembly crisis: Edwin Clark sends strong-worded letter to Senate President, Lawan


Former Minister of Information and Niger-Delta leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has disagreed with the Senate’s position on the Edo State Assembly crisis.

He, therefore, warned the National Assembly against creating anarchy in the state.

Clark, in his letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, which was sighted by journalists in Abuja on Thursday, noted that Section 101 of the Constitution allows every Legislature to adopt its own house rules.

He, therefore, said the situation in Edo has not gotten to one in which the National Assembly will invoke the constitution.

The Pan Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF, leader also disagreed with the Senate, saying Section 105 (3) rests the exclusive prerogative of that function squarely on the governor. Consequently, he said the senate was totally wrong to have directed the governor to issue a fresh proclamation after the first one.

He said: “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.”

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