A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has restrained the National Assembly (NASS) from taking over the legislative functions of the Edo State House of Assembly, saying it lacks power to do so.
The court also declared the National Assembly does not have the power to order Governor Godwin Obaseki to make a fresh proclamation on the House of Assembly, insisting that it (Edo House of Assembly) is not NASS’ appendage.
Justice Kolawole Omotosho said it is only the court that has the prerogative power to issue such a directive and not NASS.
Omotosho maintained that Governor Obaseki fulfilled the constitutional right before making the proclamation on the House of Assembly.
He said since the proclamation on June 17, the House of Assembly had carried out its legislative functions, stressing that the governor’s proclamation should not be tampered with.
“As long as it (the court) is concerned, Edo State governor has power to make the proclamation. He has made the proclamation as empowered by the constitution.
“The governor is the chief executive of the state as enshrined in the constitution and cannot be mandated by the National Assembly.
“The proclamation remains valid, and the validity remains unchallenged. This court will not allow the proclamation to be tampered with by any National Assembly process. The order by the National Assembly is frowned upon and should not be encouraged,” Omotosho said.
The plaintiffs, Yekini Idiaye (deputy speaker) and Henry Okhuarobo, member representing Ikpoba-Okha constituency, had among other prayers, urged the court to stop NASS for taking over the legislative functions of the state House of Assembly.
Speaking shortly after the judgement, Obaseki’s lawyer, Santos Owolori, said: “The judgement is sound and it is a beauty for democracy.”
The plaintiffs’ counsel, Kingsley Idahosa, said: “It is beauty for democracy and it would shape the law.”
Also, NASS’ lawyer, Osinachi Sandra, simply said it was a judgement for democracy.