Leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State, have suspended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti-party activities.
A chieftain of the party, Mr Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday.
“Governor Obaseki, his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu; Anslem Ojezua and Osarodion Ogie (SSG), from available information from top leaders of the PDP, have concluded plans to defect from the APC and seek re-election on that platform.
He said: “For us the authentic APC stakeholders in Edo State, we wholeheartedly denounce such.
“We wish to state that at the appropriate time, the APC National Working Committee will initiate the process of party primaries for the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate.
“We will abide by the guidelines for such primaries as the constitution of the party vests the responsibility of conducting primaries on the NWC.
“We are prepared to give every aspirant equal opportunity to test their popularity. We will resist any attempt to close the political space,” Ikahriake said.
“Consequently, we hereby suspend Governor Godwin Obaseki, Hon Phillip Shuaibu and Barr. Osarodion Ogie from the party for anti-party activities and urge the National Working Committee to set the machinery in motion for further disciplinary action against them,” he added.
The suspension is not unconnected to the lingering political battle between the governor and his immediate predecessor and current national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole.
Bigwigs in the party are no longer seeing eye-to-eye, raising fears over the chances of the APC in the high-stakes governorship election, billed for August next year.
APC in Edo had witnessed a series of threats, brigandry and actions capable of destroying the fortunes of the party in the upcoming governorship election.
It came to a fever-pitch high when the National Assembly decided to take over Edo State House Assembly.
However, in a judgement delivered by Justice James Omotosho, the federal court Port Harcourt rightly condemned the infringing act of the National Assembly to interfere in Edo State House Assembly matters, stressing that National Assembly lacks the power to take over the State House of Assembly.
The ruling further stressed that only the court of law has the power to make findings on issues bothering on Edo State House of Assembly if it’s unable to have its sittings, after which the National Assembly can take over based on the court’s decision.
Justice Omotosho said there is no constitutional provision that empowers National Assembly to give orders to seal Edo State Assembly with reasons that the house is in crisis.
The ruling also stressed that the 1st proclamation issued by Governor of the Edo State Godwin Obaseki is valid and remains valid, as National Assembly cannot lawfully give directives to the governor as state government is autonomous and must be treated as such.
Justice Omotosho said the Federal High Court Port Harcourt has jurisdiction to hear the matter, as it’s the only vacation court covering the South-South region.