Senate joins Reps on Edo Assembly crisis probe

The Senate, yesterday, raised an ad hoc panel that will join that of the House of Representatives to probe the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly.

The panel has Deputy Chief Whip Aliyu Abdullahi Sabi (APC, Niger) as chairman. He will work with the House ad hoc panel headed by Rep Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) for the same purpose.

Other members of the panel as announced by Senate President Ahmad Lawan are Ahmed Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC, Adamawa), Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremmenyo (APC, Bayelsa).

Raising a point of order on the matter, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) said the crisis in the Edo Assembly should be investigated to ascertain the true situation of things. But Sen. James Manager (PDP, Delta) observed that the House had already resolved to investigate the matter, and that since the National Assembly is a bicameral legislature, the Senate could wait and adopt whatever the House came up with.

But Lawan observed that the ad hoc committee would join that of the House to investigate the matter and get back to the Senate.

Similarly, Sen Istifanus Dung Gyang (PDP, Plateau) raised a constitutional point of order, citing Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, which gives the National Assembly powers to take over the functions of a state assembly in the event that such assembly could not perform its functions.

He argued that he was yet to see any situation that would warrant the National Assembly to act on the matter at this time.

However, Lawan said the matter had not reached the stage where the National Assembly would take over powers of the Edo Assembly which, he said, was the reason behind the investigation.

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