The immediate past Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Parliamentary Affairs, Rt. Hon. (Alhaji) Kabiru Adjoto said the declaration of 12 absconded members-elect seats vacant by Edo Assembly Speaker was constitutionally valid.
The former Speaker who said this yesterday while addressing newsmen in Benin-City lamented that the various constituencies represented by the errant members-elect were lacking representation at the State’s House of Assembly thereby defeating the sole purpose of their election.
“The Assembly is presently at the verge of passing the 2020 Appropriation Bill but unfortunately those constituencies whose members are on an endless voyage in Abuja might not have most of their democratic wishes catered for in the budget; this act is not just constitutionally phoney but also morally reprehensible”, he said.*
Adjoto said all admonitions from Governor Obaseki to the 12 members-elect to present themselves for inauguration hit the bricks because they chose to satisfy the desires of their godfather at the detriment of their constituents.
He said: “Those who are debating the constitutional validity of the Speaker’s action should take their minds back to the Supreme Court verdict of 1983; a case between Oloyo and Alegbe the then Speaker of Bendel State House of Assembly, where the apex court made it clear that the speaker had the legal backing to declare any member’s seat vacant for failing to sit in a specified number of days”.