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Clark: Senate’s order for fresh proclamation in Edo is unconstitutional

Clark: Senate’s order for fresh proclamation in Edo is unconstitutional
August 02
11:35 2019
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Edwin Clark, Ijaw leader, says it is wrong for the senate to have ordered Godwin Obaseki, Edo state governor, to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the state house of assembly.

According to Clark, the power to make a proclamation of the commencement of the state house of assembly rests exclusively with the governor.

The senate had given a week ultimatum for Obaseki to issue a fresh proclamation for the inauguration of the state house of assembly, following the inauguration of some lawmakers under controversial circumstances.

The governor had ignored the order despite a threat by the national assembly that it would take over the functions of the state assembly.

“It is unconstitutional and wrong for the National Assembly to ‘order or direct’ the Edo State Governor to issue a fresh proclamation. Section 3 places such activity squarely in the Exclusive List,” a statement released by the elder statesman on Thursday read.

Using the 8th assembly and Bukola Saraki’s emergence as senate president, Clark said: “In 2015 when the 8th National Assembly was inaugurated, not all members of the National Assembly were present that morning.

“There was an announcement that all elected APC members in the National Assembly should assemble at the International Conference Centre that morning, and Mr President as the leader of the APC, who had just returned from an overseas trip, was to address the members at the meeting before going to the National Assembly for the inauguration.

“Meanwhile, some members of the National Assembly, instead of going to attend the meeting at the ICC, gathered at the National Assembly for the inauguration.

“Thereafter, the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was elected President of the Senate unopposed because other senators-elect, including the present Senate President of this 9th Senate and who was the choice of the ruling All Progressives Congress, were at the ICC.

“The above action is in sync with Section 102 of the 1999 Constitution which states that ‘a House of Assembly may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership, and the presence or participation of any person not entitled to be present at or to participate in the proceedings of the House shall not invalidate such proceedings.”

The former federal commissioner for information urged the national assembly to consider section 11 (4) of the constitution which states that, “at any time when any House of Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions by reasons of the situation prevailing in that state, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good governance with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the state: provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office.”

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