As the division in the Edo State House of Assembly continues, the House has declared the seat of one of its members, vacant.
The Speaker, Uyi Igbe, who made the declaration during the House plenary at old assembly complex in Benin, explained that the affected lawmaker, Abdulrazak Momoh, representing Etsako West 1 constituency, defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party without following due process.
Igbe stated that session 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, authorised the Speaker to declare the seat of a lawmaker upon defection from the party he was elected to another party and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to take necessary steps to fill the vacant position within 90 days.
Abdulrazak Momoh, who however, described the action as laughable, said the 15 APC lawmakers’ action was cut short by the court action instituted against them for forging his signature.
Momoh said there was a subsisting court order stopping the House from declaring seats vacant, suspending and stopping the salaries of the defected lawmakers.
He said the Speaker had in the past said he (Momoh) was not suspended because of a pending legal action he instituted against the Assembly.
Momoh said, “And the court restrained them from suspending and declaring my seat vacant. It is already a known fact that they do not obey court orders.
“What they have done today is null and void because the Government House is not the designated place for legislative activities.”
The lawmakers have continued to hold separate plenaries since June 9, when crisis erupted among the 24-member House.