June 4, 2020

Edo 2020: Obaseki’s information commissioner resigns

….police bar journalists from court

By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin-City

Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Paul Ohonbamu resigned his appointment on Thursday,

In the letter, he said “I hereby tender my letter of resignation as a commissioner in Edo State to His Excellency, Mr. Godwin Obaseki this 4th day of June 2020. Without setting a precedent, I have decided to step aside as a cabinet member and. Operate outside‎ it for the general good of Edo State and pursuit of happiness for the citizens.

“I remain eternally grateful to His Excellency, the Governor for indulging him in his purposeful and sophisticated administration. I greet you sir and the ever-loyal members of the state executive council. I am particularly delighted that His Excellency’s second term bid is firm and surefooted.

“Whether we shall meet again I know not, therefore our everlasting farewell take. If we do meet why we shall smile, if not it is true this parting was well made”, the letter said.

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When contacted, Ohonbamu confirmed his resignation but declined to make further comments.

Meanwhile, Journalists were yesterday prevented by security operatives from covering a court case instituted by Mr. Benjamin Oghumu, Ohrionmwon Local Government Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and a loyalist of Gov. Godwin Obaseki, who is seeking an injunction against the membership of Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Members of the Public Work Volunteer (PUWOV), personnel of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency (EDSTMA) and the state special anti-robbery security outfit: Operation Wabaizigan had as early as 6:30 am cordoned off all entry roads to the state high court complex and created gridlock in parts of the city.

It took the intervention of the Registrar of the court, Mr. Idemudia Aziegbemhin before some journalists were later allowed to enter the court while the case was already well underway.

The Court however reserved arguments seeking to restrain Ize-Iyamu from parading himself as an aspirant entitled to participate in the state APC primary election fixed for June 22 this year to select a candidate in the governorship election slated for September 19 because he is not a member of the party.

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Joined in the suit is the All Progressive Congress (APC), 1st Defendant; the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, sued for himself and on behalf of the National Working Committee of APC as 2nd Defendant; and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu (3rd Defendant).

Pastor Kenneth Asekomhe on behalf of the factional state executive loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Mr. Benjamin Oghumu on behalf of himself and Executive Committee of APC in Orhiomwon local government area and Mr. Matthew Ogbebor, on behalf of himself and the Executive Committee of Ugbogbo Wards 5, (all Plaintiffs/Claimants) approached a state high court seeking an order, restraining the 3rd defendant from parading himself as an aspirant entitled to participate in the 1 st defendant primary election fixed for June 22, 2020, to select a candidate to represent it in the Edo State governorship election fixed for September 19.

The claimants also demanded an order of the court, restraining the 1st defendant from recognizing the 3rd defendant as an aspirant of the APC in its primary election scheduled for June 22 or any other date to select a candidate to represent it in the Edo State governorship election slated for September 19 among others.

According to the plaintiffs/claimants who were represented by Ken Mozia, SAN, and Santos Owootori, sort to know whether Article 31(2) of APC constitution is not in conflict with Section 177(c) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended as it relates to qualification for election to the office of a governor of a state.

However, an argument ensued when defendants Lawyers led by H. O Ogbodu, SAN, and Victor Oyosuma appeared in the matter and demanded to be served the motion papers and origination summons.

Consequently, the presiding Judge, Justice H. Ahaomoje declined to grant the exparte motion but instead gave the defendants 10 days to file their response while counsels the plaintiffs/claimants were given two days to reply.

Justice Emmanuel Ahaomoje adjourned the case to June 17, 2020.