The 13-man House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee set up to investigate the alleged issues at the Edo State House of Assembly, on Friday arrived Benin City to meet with disagreeing parties, assuring that the issues at the Assembly will be resolved quickly.
Speaking to journalists at the Benin Airport, Chairman of the Committee, Alhaji Abudulrasaq Namdas, said the committee was in the state on a fact-finding mission, to resolve the issues at the State House of Assembly.
After an interactive session with the 12 members of the Edo State House of Assembly to find out their own side of the story, Namdas said “I can assure you that we have done much in the matter in the last one week. All the parties involved have given us their support and have shown willingness to resolve the matter.”
He continued, “I want to assure you that in a short period, we will turn in our report and we are sure that the issues will be resolved quickly.”
Responding to questions from the committee members, the speaker of the EDHA, Hon. Frank Okiye, said there was no acrimony before the 17th of June 2019, as all members were awaiting the proclamation letter in readiness for the inauguration.
“This was our focus as legislators but unknown to us, there was a gang up. On the day of the inauguration, some of us that were in the Assembly made calls to other members, unknown to us that they were at a press conference. About nine of us on ground mounted pressure on the clerk since we formed a quorum. At about 3:30pm, the clerk commenced the inauguration of the nine members present.”
On his part, the clerk of EDHA, Alhaji Audu Yahaya Omogbai, said he received letter of proclamation from the Governor of Edo State on Friday 14th of June 2019 and duly informed members-elect appropriately, notifying them that inauguration was set for 17th June 2019.
“13 submitted documentations while 12 have been inaugurated, but 11 have not submitted at all. One of those that has submitted his is with the other 11 in Abuja. The two vital documents that need to be submitted include the certificate of return and the code of conduct and asset declaration certificate.”
At a meeting at the palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, Namdas assured that the committee will be neutral in handling the issues as members of the committee are men of proven integrity.
He said they are in the palace to inform the Oba of their presence in the state and seek his blessing, to enable the committee succeed on their job.
“You are the father of the state. The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is your son, same as the governor of the state. The members of the assembly are your children. Your intervention will go a long way to solve this issue.
“This is a very serious assignment for us, as people are watching the outcome of the committee’s work in Edo State, but we sincerely need your intervention, support and prayers to enable us to succeed in this big task of resolving the issues at the Edo State House of Assembly.”
He continued, “When politicians fall into trouble, they run to elders for advice on how to resolve the issues. We want you to help us speak with your children to make our job easier in the state.”
The Oba welcomed the committee and thanked them for the visit, assuring them of the palace’s support to ensure the committee succeeds in its task.
He said the assignment is not an easy one, as some of his chiefs who are politicians have been doing their best to resolve the issues.
“On my own, I have been talking with both parties involved on different occasions, but things just keep escalating so fast. I am at the point of inviting them to talk to them but I heard of this committee and I pray for a successful job.”
According to the committee chairman, “We have just one week for the job. We have already met with the governor of the state and Edo State House of Assembly members-elect, who are in Abuja. I want to assure you that we are men of integrity and will not be teleguided or influenced in doing our job.”