As the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, which culminated in the closed-door election of Hon. Frank Okiye, as speaker continued yesterday, 16 of the members-elect have denied receiving invitation to the inauguration of the state’s seventh Assembly. Reports said gladiators in the crisis continued to remain loyal to their principals, Governor Godwin Obaseki and his predecessor and National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
Spokesman for the 16 lawmakers-elect, Washington Osifo, told newsmen in Benin that they would have attended the inauguration if they were invited. Osifo said the Clerk of the House called them at about 5.30p.m. to inform them that he had been called from the Government House and they were happy that the press conference had moved the governor to do what the constitution demanded.
He said: “The Clerk told us he will call back in 30 minutes, but we didn’t hear from him again. Some of our brothers who were supposed to be at a meeting with us were absent. We called them and they were not picking their calls. “At 9.30p.m., photographs began to filter into our phones suggesting that a kangaroo Assembly was being inaugurated. We were disappointed. One of us was spotted with a short and slippers taking the oath of office.
That was an offence in the hallowed chamber, they humiliated him. “Two of them were also kidnapped to make up the nine members. What they needed; because they lacked understanding of what a quorum could mean were nine members. There can be no quorum until the House is properly inaugurated. “What the law requires is inauguration of the entire members. They got four and said they have a quorum. It was for the clerk to announce or cause invitation to be sent to us. That was missing. They gave information of the inauguration only to those they wanted to be there. We would have been there,” Osifo said.
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