By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti
The Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, has reacted to the directive by Governor Ayodele Fayose urging the Ministry of Justice to write a memo authorising the Commissioner of Police to arrest the 19 APC lawmakers that sat in a plenary last Thursday in the state capital.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker, Wole Olujobi, Omirin said that APC lawmakers acted within the law to conduct its sitting in a public building in the state capital.
“The governor or the police cannot arrest us for performing our constitutional duty. Section 101 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes it explicit that the House can regulate its activities, including conducting its sittings in public buildings in the state capital. The Supreme Court had also ruled that the House can conduct its sittings in public places in the state capital if conditions exist that endanger members in the conduct of their sittings.
“Governor Fayose has kept armed thugs permanently in the House of Assembly to attack us. We can’t put ourselves in harm’s way, yet we have a responsibility to our constituents to make laws for good governance. That is why we followed the law to sit to consider issues on the ongoing constitutional amendment,” Omirin explained, stressing that the House had a responsibility to respond to the National Assembly demand to send Ekiti State contributions to the constitutional amendment process.
He added: “Ekiti State has just one House of Assembly. That is why the National Assembly acknowledged the receipt of our resolutions on the constitutional amendment. If they are sure of their status, let them approach the National Assembly or the Judiciary for recognition.”
The speaker said it is regrettable that the governor has not learnt a lesson from his past experience when he instigated a constitutional crisis that led to the declaration of the state of emergency that culminated in the dismissal of his government in 2006.
Omirin said the commissioner of police should not allow himself to be dragged into political fray in Ekiti State, warning that the governor would bear the consequences if he causes conditions that hamper peace and threats to good governance in Ekiti State.