The much-anticipated inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly has allegedly been performed, behind closed doors.
According to a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, and released to journalists at exactly 1.39am on Tuesday, the inauguration took place with nine of the 24 members-elect present.
The statement claimed that the inauguration took place at the Chamber of the Assembly complex at about 3pm on Monday.
Sources close to the Assembly who did not want to be named, however said the inauguration actually took place at about 9.30 pm, presided over by the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Audu Yahaya Omogbai.
A picture of the inauguration showed one of the lawmakers wearing a black vest and jacket on a pair of short knickers.
According to the statement, “members present at the inauguration include Hon. Nosa Okunbor; Hon. Henry Okuarobo; Hon. Uyi Ekhosuehi; Hon. Marcus Onobun; Hon. Ephraim Anehbosele; Hon. Roland Asoro; Hon. Eric Okaka; Hon Frank Okiye and Hon Yekini Idiaye.”
“The much-anticipated inauguration of the Edo state House of Assembly took place in Benin City at around 3pm, on Monday, June 17, 2019.
“The Clerk of the Edo House of Assembly, Alhaji Audu Yahaya Omogbai, ushered the members-elect into the chamber and read out the letter of proclamation transmitted to the office of the clerk by the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
“After reading the letter, the Clerk proclaimed the House and the members-elect began the process of electing the House leadership, with Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye of Esan North East Constituency I, emerging the Speaker, while Hon. Yekini Idiaye of Akoko Edo Constituency I, was elected Deputy
“Upon completion of the process of swearing-in, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Okiye took charge of proceedings and thanked all the members-elect present for the confidence reposed in him, promising that he would work for the people of Edo State,” the statement revealed.
In his acceptance speech, Okiye was quoted thus: “It is with the deepest sense of humility that I receive this call to serve the people and I assure that I will do all in my power to serve their best interest at all times.
“I congratulate my colleagues and fellow members who are today inaugurated. I call on members-elect who have not satisfied the process of swearing-in, which includes the completion of the asset declaration form, to do so speedily so they could be inaugurated to undertake the task for which the people elected them.”
The statement also stated that motion for adjournment was moved by the Speaker himself, following which the House was adjourned till July 17, 2019.
The reason for the long period of adjournment, it was gathered, was to make room for logistics for the allocation of accommodation, offices, vehicles and other materials to make for smooth legislative activities.
“A legislative committee was set up to superintend over the logistics of the allocation to ensure a smooth exercise. The committee was chaired by Hon. Roland Asoro of Orhionwon South Constituency,” the statement concluded.
It would be recalled that 19 members-elect of the Assembly, had on Monday issued a statement denouncing the alleged refusal of Governor Obaseki to issue a letter of proclamation for the inauguration of the legislative arm.
The members-elect also accused the governor of unconstitutional attempt to impose a Speaker on them.