The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the National Assembly (NASS) has no power to shut down the Edo state assembly.
The house of representatives had asked Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, to seal up the Edo parliament, pending the time the crisis among the state lawmakers is resolved.
A “cold war” between Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, had split the legislators into two factions.
On June 17, nine lawmakers loyal to Obaseki had elected principal officers and took the oath of office secretly but the 15 lawmakers loyal to Oshiomhole had kicked against it, calling for intervention.
Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, the demand of the lower legislative chamber of the national assembly as “provocative”, saying it has no place in a democratic dispensation.
The party cautioned the leadership of the house of representatives to desist from actions that could “trigger a constitutional crisis in Edo and the nation at large”.
It noted the “inability of the leadership of the APC to manage the avarice and internal strife playing out in Edo”.
“The PDP states that no section of the 1999 constitution confers the house of representatives with the powers to issue orders to a state governor or direct the shutdown of a sitting state house of assembly,” he said in a statement.
“Whether in language or action, such is only obtainable in a military system. The PDP hereby invites Nigerians to note that section 11 of the 1999 constitution, upon which the house of representatives anchored its decision, does not in any way empower the house of representatives to shutdown a functioning state legislature.’’
The PDP also cautioned the federal legislature to note that such “imperial stance” against a legislative house; a symbol of the sovereignty of the people was “self-destruct”.
It added that such act opens the fundamentals of the nation’s democracy to unwarranted attacks.
“The PDP, therefore, counsels against any arm of government overreaching itself to take actions that undermine our constitution,” the party said.
“It encourages dictatorial tendencies against our institutions of democracy and the essentials of personal freedom and rights of citizens in our nation.”