By Christiana Ekpa
The fifteen members of the Edo State House of Assembly yet to be inaugurated yesterday alleged that the government of the state was offering N5 million and Prado jeep to them to support the government agenda.
According to them, the offers were being made to give their support to the current leadership of the House and stop them from demanding its proper inauguration.
The members made the allegations while giving testimonies to an adhoc committee of the House of Representatives set up to investigate the crisis engulfing the Edo State Assembly.
Recalled that the national Assembly in a motion on Tuesday resolved to intervene in the matter.
The members-elect said gave highlights of their experience in the hands of the government.
Giving his testimony before the committee, Hon. Chris Okaeben representing Oredo West state constituency said that crisis was principally occasioned by their determination to achieve legislative independence and free the assembly from the control of Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Executive arm.
He said that most of the returning members were embarrassed by the level of executive control in the immediate past assembly and therefore swore to never to return to that situation.
Consequently upon their resolve, the governor decided to divide the members and destabilize the assembly.
Also testifying before the committee, another member-elect, Eric Okakah gave a details of how he was abducted by a leader he had confidence in, taken to the Government House and was later conveyed in a bus alongside others to forcefully participate in the inauguration against his wish.
He told the committee that he was also harassed, intimidated and manhandled by the security operatives especially the police who were doing the bidding of the governor.
He alleged that he was offered N5 million in a Ghana-must-go bag at the Government House to participate but he rejected the offer.
On his part, another member-elect, Washington Osifo also told the committee that there was no form of communication, formal or informal to them to come for the inauguration of the House even after they had held two press conferences, urging the governor to issue proclamation for 7th Assembly.
He said that it was a surprise to them that 8 of their colleagues could secretly go for the inauguration only for them to get the pictures of the events layer on their phone.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the committee, Hon. Abdulrazak Namadas said that the panel chose to commence with 15 lawmakers because of alleged security threats to their lives.
He said that the committee would be in Edo state tomorrow (today) to meet with the governor, other members of the House and all stakeholders in the matter.
He promised that the committee as a fact-finding one would be fair to all parties involved.