By Isaac Olamikan, Senior Correspondent, Benin
The 12 newly elected lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly perceived to be loyalists of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, have suffered a setback on Thursday as the State High Court, sitting in Benin City, rejected a plea for an interim injunction that they filed asking the court to restrain security agencies from barricading and cordoning off the Assembly complex so they can have access to take over the House.
In suit no B/81OS/2019, Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror, Member-elect, Esan Central Constituency; Barr. Washington Osifo, Uhunmwode Constituency, Edo State House of Assembly and Hon. Crosby Eribo, Member-elect, Egor Constituency, on behalf of the 12 lawmakers also asked the court to restrain the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, and his Deputy, Hon. Yekini Idiaye, from parading themselves as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, respectively.
The court headed by Justice Erhabor, refused the ex-parte application, while the matter was adjourned to July 24. Though the Claimants were not in court, but they were represented by their lawyer.
Security operatives asked to be restrained are the Edo State Commissioner of Police; Director, Department of State Services, Edo State, and Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The 12 lawmakers challenged the constitutionality of the inauguration of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly, noting, “there is need to restrain the 1st and 2nd defendants from further parading themselves, describing themselves or acting or purport to exercise the powers and functions of the office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively until the hearing and determination of this suit.”
In his ruling, Justice Erhabor ordered the Abuja law makers-elect to put the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and other defendants on notice of their suit before him. He refused granting the ex-parte application because it was lacking in merit.