Showdown Looms in Edo, 17 Lawmakers Insist on Sitting

•They are not legislators, their decisions will not bind us, says Obaseki

Tension has gripped residents of Benin City, the Edo State capital, following the insistence yesterday by a factional group of 17 members of the state House of Assembly opposed to the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to sit in the legislative premises despite the ongoing renovation of the complex.

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However, the state police command has pledged to be neutral in the political crisis rocking the state, which arose from the disagreement between Obaseki and his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The 17 lawmakers comprise five that were hitherto in the governor’s camp, who were joined by 12 others that were surreptitiously sworn in last week, more than a year after those loyal to the governor were inaugurated.

The 17 are presumed to be loyal to Oshiomhole.

The speaker of the faction loyal to the governor, Hon. Frank Okiye, had earlier declared the seats of the 12 lawmakers-elect vacant.

But the governor played down the lawmakers’ action, saying the decisions arising from any of their sittings would not be binding on him and the state government.

Also yesterday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered the National Rescue Mission (NRM) to paste the court processes of the suit seeking to disqualify the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his running mate, Mr. Audu Ganiyu, on the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.

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