The crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly took another twist on Wednesday as 14 seats were declared vacant.
Speaker Francis Okiye declared the seats of 12 members-elect who have refused to present themselves for inauguration and two others who didn’t meet the mandatory sitting requirements to continue as members.
Those whose seats were declared vacant were Chris Okaeben (Oredo West), Crosby Eribo (Egor) Washington Osifo (Uhunmwode) Ugiagbe Dumez (Ovia North East 1) Vincent Uwadiae ( Ovia North East 11) Sunday Aghedo (Ovia South West) Victor Edoror (Esan Central) Emmanuel Agbaje (Akoko-Edo 11) Eric Okaka (Owan East) Micheal Ohio-Ezo (Owan West) Oshoma Ahmed (Estako Central) Kingsley Ugabi (Estako East) and Ehi Ekhosuehi (Oredo West).
Speaking to reporters after plenary, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Yekini Idiaye, representing Akoko Edo State Constituency I, the resolution was reached at plenary on Wednesday, December 4.
He noted that the seats declared vacant are Etsako West I, Etsako West II, Owan East, Owan West, Etsako Central, Etsako East, and Esan Central.
Others are Uhunmwonde, Oredo East, Oredo West, Egor, Ovia North East I, Ovia North East II and Ovia southwest I.
He said two of those affected from Oredo East and Owan East, were sworn-in but failed to meet the mandatory 181-day sitting requirement for a member in a calendar year.
For others, who hadn’t been inaugurated since the proclamation of the House, he said, “Their constituents have been complaining and have come to us that they want their voices and concerns to be heard at the House. So, people who are willing to provide quality representation have to be elected to bring the matters of the distraught constituents to the floor for debate and legislation, where necessary.”
He noted that the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and affirmed the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Alhaji Aramiyau Momoh, after receiving the report of the investigation committee on the appropriation of funds and undermining the financial rules and regulations of public service.
Other matters considered at the sitting, according to him, were the confirmation of the members of the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS).