The crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly today (Monday) took a new dimension as the lawmakers resorted to physical combat in a bid to enforce the suspension of their colleagues.
Trouble began when the court bailiff served contempt proceedings on the four lawmakers while they sat with their other colleagues outside the Edo State House of Assembly.
Calling each other unprintable names when both factions arrived the House for sitting on Monday morning, they insisted they were going in despite the suspension and injunction from the courts.
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However, one of the suspended lawmakers, Friday Ogieriakhi, insisted that the process was an abuse of court process because “there is a valid appeal against that order; there is an application to state the enforcement of the order and an application to set aside the order.
“All of these processes have not been taken and you are bringing Form 48…this is an abuse of court process”, he said.
He further noted that “until you deal with all the court processes, you cannot be talking about form 48″, he added, “nobody is in disobedience here.”
The State Commissioner of Police, Funso Adebanjo, had said that the Police presence at the venue was to ensure law and order and expressed optimism that the lawmakers would conduct themselves in a law abiding manner.
However, the Police Commissioner’s warning fell on deaf ears, as the lawmakers threw caution to the wind and resorted to physical combat.
Monday was the deadline for the appearance of the suspended lawmakers before the court. The twenty four lawmakers, however, sat outside the Assembly complex all day.
The Assembly has been in crisis since June 9, following the suspension of four legislators, including the Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea.