Edo State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the Thursday invasion of the state House of Assembly Complex by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
This was coming as the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has also strongly flayed the invasion, saying the attempt by the police “to take over Edo State House of Assembly is unconstitutional and illegal.”
Obaseki, while speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, alleged that the invasion was part of the move by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to distract the PDP governorship candidate.
“APC is panic-stricken by the huge crowd of supporters in the campaign train of Governor Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming election, and resorted to the devilish plot to illegally hijack the legislature, inaugurate a parallel Assembly and possibly impeach the governor.
“To the glory of God, their plan failed. What APC has failed to understand is that in the hearts of millions of Edo people, Obaseki has become a movement, beyond a candidate that is seeking reelection.
“Edo people will resist anything short of a free, fair and credible election, come September 19.
“Only this morning, my attention was drawn to a post trending on social media in which a man, who just passed on, donated his house for Governor Obaseki’s reelection campaigns.
“The children of the late man said that their father left a will that the reelection campaign of the governor should be done in his house. I was moved by the gesture and this is another proof of the degree of affection Edo people have for Obaseki.
“Besides, leaders of APC already know that they stand no chance in the election and are working day and night to subvert the will of the people, and this morning’s stunt was one of such.
“We expect more shenanigans from APC, no matter how absurd, in the coming days, as we move closer to the September 19 date, when Edo people will reaffirm their confidence in Obaseki with their massive votes,” Osagie said.
In its reaction, HURIWA challenged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to look into the matter in the spirit of the Nigerian constitution.
“The Nigeria constitution has articulated and stipulated what is called separation of powers as enshrined in sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended.
“The Inspector General of Police should read those sections of the constitution to know that he has no powers to interfere in the affairs of the state legislature unless he is legally and duly invited by the properly constituted authority of the state legislature. If he was not invited by the speaker of Edo State House of Assembly and if the speculation is true that the police is there to destabilise Edo State House of Assembly then the action must stop immediately and all those police operatives that carried out the illegal operation must be arrested and prosecuted alongside the person, who authorised such an unmitigated illegality of monumental proportions which also is an attempted coup d’tat.
“If the IGP was the one that gave the illegal order then he should be arrested and prosecuted because he is not above the law. If, on the other hand, the presence of the police in Edo State House of Assembly is on the invitation from the Speaker it is ok, provided the police is properly invited by the properly constituted authority of Edo State House of Assembly. It must be the speaker of the House of Assembly.
“If it is the former Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, that invited the police, then it is illegal and he too should be arrested for attempted overthrow of a part of government, because it is a coup and treason for anybody to try to change any government through illegalities as adumbrated unambiguously by the Supreme law of Nigeria.
“Indeed, he, Adams Oshiomhole, the IGP and even Mr. President lacks the constitutional powers to remove the properly constituted hierarchy of the legislative chambers whether at the national or sub-national levels.
“Section 1 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria says clearly thus: ‘This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.’
“We hereby without reservations, absolutely condemn as despicable, reprehensible and odious any attempt to destabilise Edo State House of Assembly and all those involved if confirmed, must be rounded up and prosecuted for treasonable felony.
“We warn all political actors in Edo State to play the game by the rules and allow peace to be sustained in Edo State and Nigeria as a whole. Let the good people of Edo State not sit by and allow their dear state to be destroyed by self-seeking dictators. Your land is your life. Protect it,” said HURIWA, in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and Director of National Media Affairs, Zainab Yusuf.