By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The crisis rocking Edo State House of Assembly, escalated on Wednesday when the leadership of the State House of Assembly declared as vacant the seats of 12 members-elect, loyal to the national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
The APC lawmakers elect are yet to present themselves for inauguration, following the nocturnal proclamation of the 7th Assembly on June 17, 2019 which was attended by Seven out of Twenty members of the Assembly.
The seats of two others lawmakers, Uyi Ekhosuehi and Henry Okaka, representing Oredo East and Owan East respectively, who didn’t meet 180 mandatory sitting requirement to continue as members of the House were also declared vacant by the Assembly.
The affected 12 members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae Ovia North-East 2, Ugiagbe Dumez Ovia North-East 1, Washington Osifo Uhunmwode, Victor Edoror Esan Central, Kingsley Ugabi Etsako East, Michael Ohio-Ezomo Owan West.
Others are Sunday Aghedo Ovia South-West, Chris Okaeben Oredo West, Crosby Eribo Egor, Aliyu Oshiomhole Etsako West 2, Oshomah Ahmed Etsako Central and Ganiyu Audu Etsako West 1.
The Speaker, while declaring the seats vacant, said the 12 members elect refused to come forward to process the necessary documentation as part of the condition for their inauguration.
He said, “12 out of the 24 members-elect who completed their screening and documentation process were inaugurated on June 17,2019 out of which two of them have refused to discharge their legislative duties.
“They have refused to represent their constituents in the House invariably denying their Constituents effective representation.
“At this point, I am declaring the seats of the 12 members-elect vacant in accordance with section 109, subsection 1F of the constitution,” he said.
Okiye who presided over the plenary, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct by- election within 90 days for the affected constituencies.
Our Correspondent reports that the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and ratified the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Alhaji Aramiyau Momoh.
This followed the presentation of report of the investigation Committee on appropriation of funds and undermining the financial rules and regulations of public service.
Other matters considered at the sitting for confirmation of the members on the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS).