Arrest 14 Edo lawmakers for impersonation, PDP tells police

The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the police to arrest any person or group of persons who lay claim to the office of speaker and also parade themselves as members of Edo State House of Assembly outside of the legally recognized 10 members of the house.

In a statement in Benin yesterday by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Nehikhare, he said that the 14 members’ seats were validly declared vacant following their refusal to make themselves available for swearing-in upon the proclamation and inauguration of the assembly by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Nehikharee said that Speaker Okiye who recently defected to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress (APC) must be accorded the respect he deserves as a speaker.

He said: “Impersonation and especially impersonating government officials is a criminal offence. The law must be vigilant and proactive as turning a blind eye to this brazen display of impunity will embolden these marauders.”

He reiterated its commitment to upholding the rule of law and order just as it insisted that the 14 out of the 17 lawmakers who met to elect Tiger Edoror as a speaker in place of Mr Frank Okiye at a secret location in Benin Thursday are not members of the Edo State House of Assembly but members-elect.

Nehikhare reminded that the court affirmed that the Assembly was properly inaugurated on June 17 last year.

The spokesman emphasized that presently, the Assembly consists of 10 out of the 24 members, hence the need to remind those claiming that they constitute a majority in the Assembly, that their argument is baseless.

He said: “There is a subsisting action on the matter that was taken to court by the same non-attending, now former members-elect and a decision has not been reached. Until the matter is resolved at the court, that these men have applied to, they should not attempt to take laws into their hands. The response of the Edo people to their failed take-over should serve as a constant reminder to them.

Nehikhare added that the show put up by this former members-elect was at best a comedy of errors, noting that no serious-minded person will take them seriously as they are fully aware that their latest attempt to truncate the peace in Edo has failed.

He said that the business of a House of Assembly is a serious one and ought not to be conducted in the private house or property of an individual.

“We call on the police and other security agencies in Edo to be guided by the law as they discharge their duties. We know the marauders in their usual manner will attempt to use security outfits to achieve their wicked goal of destroying and compromising the peace we currently enjoy in Edo, but we are confident that the security agencies will not give in to their frivolous demands.

“The security agencies must not be used to unsettle and cause chaos in Edo. Nothing could be more important than peace as the election date approaches.”


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