Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Francis Okiye has declared 14 seats in the Assembly vacant.
He made the declaration on Wednesday even as he called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct elections o fill the seats within the next 90 days.
The 14 seats declared vacant are those of the 12 members-elect that are yet to present themselves for inauguration and two others that allegedly disappeared after being inaugurated.
Okiye gave the names of those affected as; Chris Okaeben (Oredo West), Crosby Eribo (Egor) Washington Osifo (Uhunmwode) Ugiagbe Dumez (Ovia North East 1) Vincent Uwadiae ( Ovia North East 11) Sunday Aghedo (Ovia South West) Victor Edoror (Esan Central) Emmanuel Agbaje (Akoko-Edo 11) Eric Okaka (Owan East) Micheal Ohio-Ezo (Owan West) Oshoma Ahmed (Estako Central) Kingsley Ugabi (Estako East) and Ehi Ekhosuehi (Oredo West).
The two lawmakers whose seats were declared vacant for not meeting mandatory sitting requirement to continue as members of the House are, Okaka and Ekhosuehi.
Recall that the 14 lawmakers have been in Abuja since June following the crisis that erupted after the inauguration of the Assembly.
Addressing journalists on the House’s decision, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Yekini Idiaye, representing Akoko Edo State Constituency I, explained that two of those affected from Oredo East and Owan East, were sworn-in but failed to meet the mandatory 181-day sitting requirement for a member in a calendar year.
“For others, who hadn’t been inaugurated since the proclamation of House, their constituents have been complaining and have come to us that they want their voices and concerns to be heard at the House.
“So, people who are willing to provide quality representation have to be elected to bring the matters of the distraught constituents to the floor for debate and legislation, where necessary,” he said.
Meanwhile, Idiaye, disclosed that the House also passed the 2020 Appropriation Bill and affirmed the removal of the suspended Chairman of Etsako East Local Government Area, Aramiyau Momoh, after receiving the report of the investigation committee on the appropriation of funds and undermining the financial rules and regulations of public service.
He also said members of the board of the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, EIRS, were confirmed during the emergency plenary.