Court Upholds Order Barring Suspended Legislators From Edo Assembly

From Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin

An attempt by the four suspended Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers in the Edo State House of Assembly to quash a restraining order forbidding them from entering the premises of the Assembly and the legislative quarters has been thrown out by a Benin City high court.

The suspended members are the Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, Patrick Osayimen, Jude Ise-Idehen and Friday Ogieriakhi.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Vestee Eboreime, declined to entertain a motion on notice filed by the counsel to the suspended lawmakers, Ferdinand Orbih, seeking an order for continuous proceeding and urging the court to set aside the interim injunction and stay of execution.

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The claimant’s lawyer, Ken Mozia had urged the court to reject the applications on the ground that the defendants have appealed against the interim injunction.

Justice Eboreime, while declining jurisdiction on hearing the applications, ruled that hearing of the applications would amount to turning the law on its head and therefore threw out the applications because an appeal had been filed at the Court of Appeal in respect of the matter.

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She thereafter adjourned hearing on the application sine die until the Court of Appeal ruled on the matter before it.

Meanwhile, the crisis in Edo State House of Assembly on Monday took a new turn as the suspended lawmakers locked other members out of the assembly complex.

The suspended legislators and their supporters blocked the main entrance to the complex thereby preventing other members from entering the complex.

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The police prevented what could have been a free for all between members who wanted to enter the assembly and those in support of the suspended members.

The Assembly has been in crisis since June 9, following the suspension of four legislators, including the Deputy Speaker.

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