By Fredrick Okopie
A Federal High Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday, asked the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Justin Okonoboh and the Clerk, to appear before it on June 15, to explained why they should not be committed to prison for violating the Court of Appeal’s order.
This was sequel to the motion on notice by Mr Ikhide Ehighelua, asking the court to commit them to prison until they purge themselves of contempt by complying with the orders of the Court of Appeal.
Ehighelua, in the motion, is seeking the committal of the alleged contemnors, the Speaker and the Clerk, to prison for failing to swear in Mr Godwin Adenomo as member of the Edo State House of Assembly representing Ovia South West constituency.
Ehighelua said: “The enrolled orders of the court have been served on the Speaker and the Clerk respectively of the Edo State House of Assembly and they have failed and deliberately refused to comply with the orders of the court. It is fit and proper in the circumstances to commit them to prison custody until they purge themselves of contempt by complying with the orders of the court.
“Therefore, the judgment which sacked Aghedo from the House is a valid and subsisting judgment. Until the judgment is set aside, it must be obeyed. For the Speaker and the Clerk allowing Aghedo to continue to sit, the parties sought to be committed are eroding the authority of the court.
“The issues here are founded on the rules of law and the need for all levels of government to obey the rules of law. This is executive and legislative lawlessness.”