From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
There seems to be no end in sight on the crisis rocking Edo state House of Assembly, following a failed attempt by a court Bailiff, who reportedly stormed the chambers to serve a contempt of Court notice to the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Festus Ebea and three other suspended members of the House.
Ebea was said to have rained abuses on the Bailiff who came with the notice of consequences of disobedience of the Benin High Court order, presided over by by Justice V.O.Eboreime, to members within the precinct of the hallowed chambers.
The development sparked outrage among supporters of the various group who converged at different locations near the venue.
Sitting at the hallowed chambers was unanimously adjourned till next week Monday, placing a stud to last Wednesday’s gentleman agreement by the house to revert to status quo on the resolutions regarding the suspension of the four suspended PDP lawmakers: Hon. Friday Ogierhiakhi (Orhionmwon south), Jude Ise-Idehen (Ikpoba-Okha), Festus Ebea (Esan south east) and Patrick Osayimwen (Oredo-East) constituencies.
Three among the four members defected from All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), along with other members of the House were allowed into the Assembly’s complex by 7:30 a.m and screened into the chambers by 10 a.m.
Speaker, Hon. Uyigue Igbe, who looked forlorn, presided over the meeting held at the hallowed chambers under an intense atmosphere.
A scuffle thereafter ensued among four members of the House, Kingsley Ehigiamusor, Kabiru Adjotu, Patrick Iluobe and Victor Edororor.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Chairman, House Committee on Youths, Sports and Information, Hon. Kabiru Adjoto told waiting journalists that the meeting was deadlocked over the appearance of “strange elements in the house’’ been part of the reason why sitting did not hold despite Oba of Benin meeting with the warring groups last Saturday.
Tension was said to have risen to the peak yesterday morning at the King’s Square-premises of the House, as armed policemen cordoned off the area and mounted barricade, causing traffic gridlock.
Policemen however maintained a safe distance during the meeting, which began at 10:05am and ended at about 4:30pm yesterday.
Edo state commissioner of police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo said: “The situation was calm so far and no one has breached the law.”
He stated that his men took over the House’ vicinity to ensure that no thugs come close to the assembly’s complex to cause mayhem.