John Aikpokpo-Martins Esq., Olatunde Ikhazuan, Take legal Action against Governor Obaseki’s Proclamation of 1st Session of 7th Edo State House of Assembly

John Aikpokpo-Martins Esq. and Olatunde Ikhazuan as indigenes and constituents of Owan-East constituency of the Edo State House of Assembly of Edo State have instituted an action in the Edo State High Court, Benin-city in Suit No. B/10os/2020 against the Clerk of the Edo State House of Assembly and the Attorney-General of Edo State vide an Originating Summons seeking for the determination of the following questions:

  1. Whether a Proclamation is a public notice that must be published to the general public before it can take effect?
  2. Whether the Claimants, as indigenes and constituents of Owan-East Local Government Area of Edo State, are constitutionally entitled by right and under the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, to be duly represented by an elected legislator/House of Assembly member in the Edo State House of Assembly.
  3. Whether the Claimants as citizens and as members of the Edo State general public are entitled to be informed of the date, time and place of the holding of the inaugural Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly as stated in the proclamation of the Governor of Edo State dated FRIDAY the 14th day of June, 2019 PRIOR to the purported inauguration and/or holding of the inaugural Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly on the MONDAY, the 17th day of June, 2019.
  4. Whether Mr. Eric Okaka, as a member-elect and all other members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly are entitled to be informed of the date, time and place of the holding of the inaugural Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly as stated in the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State dated FRIDAY the 14th of June, 2019 PRIOR to the purported inauguration and/or holding of the 1st session of the 7th assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly on the MONDAY, the 17th day of June, 2019 by the formal service of a notice and/or invitation to present himself/themselves for swearing in by the 1st Defendant.
  5. Whether the Defendants officially published the Edo State Governor’s Proclamation and/or officially invited and/or served a formal notice on all the members-elect including Mr. Eric Okaka informing them of the Governor’s Proclamation and of the date, time and place of the holding of the inaugural Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly as stated in the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State dated FRIDAY, the 14th day of June, 2019 PRIOR to the purported inauguration and/or holding of the 1st Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly on the MONDAY, the 17th day of June, 2019 purportedly presided over by the 1st Defendant.
  6. Whether the purported inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly on the 17th day of June, 2019 by the 1st Defendant pursuant to the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State WITHOUT PRIOR notification and publication to all the members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly and to the Edo State general public is proper, competent and lawful.
  7. Whether the publication of the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State of the 1st Session of the 7th assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly made by the Government of Edo State on the 19th of June, 2019 in several national newspapers including the Vanguard newspaper can be said to be proper, competent and lawful and as contemplated under all the applicable laws in the circumstances.
  8. Whether the failure of the Defendants to issue and serve proper notices on the members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly informing them of the date, time and sitting for the inaugural Session of the Edo State House of Assembly is not sufficient to vitiate all resolutions and actions taken subsequent thereto without the participation of the members-elect who were not served any notice.
  9. Whether, the purported inaugural session of the Edo State House of Assembly on the 17th day of June, 2019 without the participation of Mr. Eric Okaka, member-elect representing Owan-East constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly, does not amount to denial of representation and democratic rights of participation of members of the Owan-East constituency of Edo State.

The Claimants are praying the court to grant their reliefs against the Defendants as follows;

  1. A declaration that the Claimants as indigenes, citizens and constituents of Owan-East Local Government Area of Edo State are constitutionally entitled by right and under the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, to be represented in the Edo State House of Assembly by the duly elected legislator/House of Assembly Member-Elect declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
  2. A declaration that the purported inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly on the 17th day of June, 2019 by the 1st Defendant WITHOUT PRIOR public notification and publication of the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State by the Defendants to all the members-elects of the Edo State House of Assembly and to the Edo State general public including the Claimants is improper, incompetent, unlawful, null and void and has rendered the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State inchoate.
  3. A declaration that the Proclamation of the Governor of Edo State dated the 14th day of June, 2019 proclaiming the 1st Session of the 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly is inchoate, same having not been given effect to by the Defendants after the said Proclamation was published for the notice of the members-elect and the general public on the 19th of June, 2019.
  4. A declaration that all the acts, including but not limited to resolutions, enactments, bills and/or laws purportedly passed since the 17th day of June, 2019 till date by the Edo State House of Assembly are unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever
  5. An Order compelling and/or directing the Defendants to account and refund all the monies and expenditures made by the Edo State House of Assembly from the 17th of June, 2019 till date within 30 days from the date of judgment, into the treasury of Edo State Government.
  6. An Order directing and compelling the Defendants to publish the proclamation of the Edo State Governor dated the 14th day of June, 2019 in at least 3 National newspapers; Channels TV, AIT, Edo State Broadcasting outlets AND serve on all members-elect an official and formal Notice of the sitting of the 1st session of 7th Assembly of the Edo State House of Assembly containing the date, place and time of the said sitting not less than 7 days before the said 1st session, and within 14 days from the date of this judgment.

The Originating Summons was filed on the 27th of January, 2020 by KUNLE O. EDUN, Esq. of TRILEX PARTNERS, Warri, Delta State.

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