We Want Rule of Law to Prevail in Ogun Assembly
The leadership of the Ogun State House of Assembly noted with great optimism the news report in the Punch and Vanguard newspapers of today Monday, 25 October, 2010 as regards the issue of Ogun State House of Assembly being referred to the Senate by some interested parties urging the Senate to look into the political developments in the State of recent as against the hasty decision taken by the lower House which resolved to take over legislative responsibilities of the State legislature, which was against the position of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are not surprised that the leadership of the Federal House of Representatives appeared biased by calling on the Inspector General of Police to provide security for suspended Speaker, Hon. Egbetokun as we are quite aware of the fact that the Group of 15 have sponsors from among members of the National Assembly namely the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole. Senator Lekan Mustapha and Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello among others who have been wielding powers negatively against current leadership of the House and the State with a grand plan to cause confusion and anarchy in the State with the aim of prompting Abuja to declare State of emergency in Ogun State which we have vowed to resist.
We would like to let you know that legislative work is on-going in the Ogun State House of Assembly going by the recent oversight functions of the members led by Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Soyemi Coker to five local governments last week which still continues this week.
For the umpteenth time, we still maintain the legality of our action of Monday 6 September, 2010 as contained in Section 96 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that: 'The quorum of the House shall be ONE THIRD OF ALL THE ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE'
For emphasis, one third of the 26-member House is NINE. In the same vein, Order XV (1) of the House also states that 'The quorum of the House shall not be less than ONE THIRD OF ALL THE ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE'
The House sitting on Monday was at the chambers of the Ogun State House of Assembly, with the Assembly Mace (which is domicile within the Assembly Complex and of which the clerk is the custodian), with the Clerk and the staff of the Ogun State House of Assembly and with the required quorum.
It must also be noted that both the Federal and Ogun State High Courts sitting in Abeokuta have ruled that the status quo shall be maintained while the Inspector General of Police has been restrained from providing security for Mr. Tunji Egbetokun to preside over another Ogun State House of Assembly pending the hearing of the motion on notice on November 2, 2010.
In conclusion, it is our conviction that we still have respected statesmen and unwavering democrats in both the upper and the lower Houses who are well informed and will play non-partisan role in the whole issue and allow the rule of law to take its due course. The suspended members have alternatives as provided in the 1999 Constitution and this is for them to go to court to seek redress if they are so aggrieved. Any backdoor approach will not work.
Special Assistant to the Speaker, (Media & Publicity),