Edo State And Its Legislature, By Dr Samson Osagie

OLIVER WENDEL HOLMES, Jr in SOUTHERN PACIFIC v. JENSEN, 244 US 205,,222(1917) said “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious are what I mean by the Law”.

I had posited, and still maintain that Edo is yet to have a House of Assembly, nay the Legislative arm of government particularly from June 2019 till date. Those, who conspire to deny Edo state a viable Legislature at this point of its democratic history, will have their date with the Law.

The Law, in this case, Section 91 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 remains immutable and apt as far as the circumstances of the impasse of the State Assembly is concerned. The law is what it is regardless of how people twist it to favour their fancy. Lord Justice Wendel Holmes, regarded as the father of Legal realism has as his core philosophy that the law cannot be separated from its application, nor can it be understood outside of its application. It is only in Nigeria, that even scholars struggle to turn lawbon its head on the altar of political correctness. The Constitution says no House of Assembly shall have less than 24 members, why will any Sub national government be comfortable with this gross violation of the Constitution and relish in perpetual illegality?

It is in the light of the foregoing, that I endorse the apt response of Dr Washington Osifo, to the sentimental piece written by a certain NBA Legal Adviser. I think the fellow needs to look at the provisions of the law much more dispassionately rather than pander to the overlorsdship of the suzerainty of the powers that be and tenants at Dennis Osadebay Avenue.


History will not be kind to the perpetrators of this era of autocracy and dictatorship in the governance of our dear Edo State.

The Legislature is necessary because it is the organ of government that makes Laws and passes them and also amends old laws. No democratic government can do its duty lawfully for the benefits of the people without laws properly passed and contribute to the development of the nation without a validly Constituted Legislature in accordance with Section 91 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and other provisions enabling the legitimacy of the Legislature under the Constitution in that behalf. The Constitution did not contemplate a Legislature whose existence will be at the pleasure of the State Governor or President
So those advising the fourteen Members- elect who were denied the performance of their Constitutional responsibilities to their constituents for almost three years to advance to genoflect before the “Lordship of His Excellency” in order that they be allowed to represent their constituency needs a schooling in the tenets of democracy. They must do so in accordance with the Law and not engage in self serving adventures of seeking patronage from government House.
The question we all should ask is: Does Edo State have a validly constituted House of Assembly? We all knows that it does not, but why is the head of government unperturbed? Why are unsolicited advisers not speaking truth to power?

There is a price for every action we take while in government.
Legal Practitioner & Former Minority WHIP House Of Representatives.
02 January, 2022


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