The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has said that the National Assembly lacks the power to order the closure of Edo State House of Assembly.

Presiding Judge, Justice Kolawole Omotosho, gave the verdict on Wednesday, following a lawsuit filed by Deputy Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Yekini Idiaye, and Henry Okhuarobo, a member of the House.

The two lawmakers had approached the court to decide if the National Assembly had the right to seal the state chambers.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Omotosho said it was only the court that could direct the National Assembly to take over or seal the Edo State House of Assembly.

He said, “There is nothing before the court showing that the Edo State House of Assembly is unable to sit.

“Some elected members have been inaugurated. The House has been carrying out its legislative duties.

“The National Assembly lacks the power to take over the Edo State House of Assembly. The House of Assembly is not an appendage of the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly lacks the power to seal or direct anybody to seal the Edo State House of Assembly.

“The Nigerian constitution is a federal constitution and the National Assembly cannot unilaterally decide that Edo State House of Assembly is in crisis and seal same.

“It is only a court that has the power to make findings, particularly after listening to parties, to decide if the National Assembly can take over a House of Assembly.”

 

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