The Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday filed a suit to stop the national assembly from taking over its legislative activities. The suit was filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The House of Representatives had asked Mohammed Adamu, Inspector-General of Police, to shut the State Assembly following the crisis that ensued over the inauguration of some lawmakers under controversial circumstances.
Consequently, the Senate on Tuesday during its plenary gave Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, a week ultimatum to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the State Assembly, a directive which the governor ignored.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/815/2019 filed by Francis Okiye, the speaker, and the state assembly, the plaintiffs asked Nkeonye Maha, Justice of the court, to restrain the National Assembly from going ahead with its plans pending the hearing on the matter.
Defendants in the suit include Mohammed Sani-Omolori, the Clerk of the National Assembly (first defendant), and the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second defendant).
The matter was first brought before Maha on July 23, but was later adjourned to July 31, for hearing since the parties were yet to be served.
However, on Wednesday, Ola Olanipekun, the lead counsel to the plaintiffs, told the court that after the defendants had been properly served as ordered by the court, the senate still went ahead and passed a resolution for the takeover of the assembly if the governor fails to comply with its resolution.
He explained that the defendants, through their lawyers, had on Tuesday served the plaintiffs a counter affidavit to their motion and written address and also filed a memorandum of conditional appearance.
He said it was disheartening that despite that the governor had already issued a proclamation which was duly gazetted officially and that the members of the state assembly had duly been inaugurated, principal members elected and the house has since been performing its functions, the federal lawmakers directed Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation.
The judge adjourned the case until August 7, to enable the complainants respond to the counter affidavit and written address filed by lawyers to the National Assembly.
Maha urged the parties to respect the sanctity of the court as the matter was still pending in court.