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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Court Restrains Suspended Edo PDP Lawmakers From Entering Assembly

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BENIN—An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin, has restrained the four suspended Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers, including the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Festus Ebea, from entering the Assembly premises.

PDP Edo State Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, however,  said that the party had filed an appeal against the order and also asked for a stay of the execution of the order.

Orbih, said: “We have appealed the order restraining our members from entering the Assembly complex and have also asked for stay of its execution. The court order is not binding until the final determination of our appeal.”

This came as youths under the aegis of Edo Youth For Good Governance, EYFGG, expressed fear that the current political crisis in the state may impede development.

The youths, who addressed newsmen in Benin yesterday, urged political gladiators in the state to sheathe their swords and allow development to take place in the state.

Also, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State said, yesterday, that the Inspector General of Police should be held responsible if the current crisis in the state House of Assembly leads to bloodshed.

The party accused mobile policemen attached to some PDP leaders in the state and others deployed in the state from Abuja, of allegedly aiding the four suspended lawmakers in gaining entrance into the Assembly complex after breaking the doors which were under lock and key.

The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Godwin Erhahon, who addressed newsmen in Benin City, alleged that the plot of the PDP was to plunge the state into crisis, warning however that “nobody has the monopoly of violence.”

Tension heightened at the Assembly premises, following a large presence of mobile policemen allegedly deployed in the state from Abuja. The policemen, at 6:30a.m., escorted the PDP lawmakers, including the suspended lawmakers into the Chambers.

Fighting broke out when the 15 APC lawmakers, including the Speaker, Mr. Uyi Igbe and Majority Leader, Mr. Philip Shaibu, stormed the Chambers at  7a.m., and the fight over who will preside ensued. It was at that point that the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Folunso Adebanjo came into the chambers to restore peace.

The political thugs inside the Assembly complex were chased away while the CP and officials of the Department of State Security, DSS, made frantic efforts to stop the fight. Adebanjo advised the lawmakers to maintain peace and ensure that the matter was resolved amicably.

But the 15 APC lawmakers argued that the four suspended lawmakers must leave the complex. Persistent plea from Mr Adebanjo, however, calmed the situation before the lawmakers commenced serious meeting which was presided over by Mr. Igbe.

The meeting was still on-going at press time. The lawmakers who were obviously tired sent for rice, which they all ate together.

Meanwhile, the state High Court, following an exparte motion by Mr Igbe, Mr Shaibu and Edo State House of Assembly, restrained the four PDP lawmakers from entering the Assembly complex.

Trial judge, Justice V. Eboreime, said

“An order of interim injunction is hereby given restraining the defendants by themselves or agents, assigns, privies or other persons acting for, through or by the defendants from forcefully gaining entrance into the premises and Legislative quarters of the 3rd claimant or howsoever interfering with the sitting activities and other functions of the 3rd claimant pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

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