Constitutional crisis looms in Edo State as the leadership of the Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday battles the state government over the tenure of local government chairmen.
BusinessDay reports that the state lawmakers had in a plenary session on Monday ordered 17 local government chairmen out of the 18 chairmen to immediately hand over the affairs of the administration of their various council to the head of local administration on or before April 21, Thursday (today).
The tenure of the 17 council chairmen constitutionally came to an end April 21, 2016 having being sworn-in April 21, 2013 as the winners of the April 20, 2013 local government elections.
A rerun was however conducted in Esan North-East Local Government following the declaration of the election inconclusive by the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC).
In line with the relevant provisions of the Edo State Local Government Amended Laws, 2000, put the tenure of the local government to three years, the House directed the affected chairmen to vacate office on the stipulated date.
Worried by the directive, Edo State government in a letter personally signed by Governor Adams Oshiomhole and addressed to the speaker of the House, Victor Edoror, described the action of the former as usurpation of executive power.
The letter dated April 20, 2016 was titled,” Re-Expiration of Local Government Council tenureship in Edo State.”
According to the governor, my attention has been drawn to the resolution of the House in relation to the expiration of the local government council tenureship directing the 17 out of the 18 local government council chairmen to hand over to the head of the local government administration on or before April 21, 2016.
In advancing his argument, the governor said the resolution was usurpation of the functions of the executive, which has the power to determine the administration of local government councils in the state.
He described the resolution as inappropriate and therefore not acceptable.
He noted that he had earlier directed the local government chairmen to prepare a hand over note and transmit same to his office through the heads of personnel of the respective local government councils.
The governor however opined that there were constitutional limits of both the executive and the legislature, as it pertain the administration of the local government council in Edo State.
He added that both the executive and the legislature respect the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution.
The lawmakers in a consequential motion unanimously condemned the governor’s letter, which they described as the handiwork of mischief makers and some sycophants within the executive arms as well as ill-advised.
The House also invited the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Henry Idahagbon to appear before it next week Tuesday for allegedly misleading the governor to write such letter to the House.
The speaker of the House, Victor Edoror, reaffirmed the House resolution directing the affected council chairmen to hand over the affairs of the administration of their various councils unfailingly by Thursday (today).