This photo taken on August 6, 2020, shows security operatives at the Edo State House of Assembly complex in Benin City, the state capital.

The takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly complex by security operatives has sparked an exchange of blame between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

While the PDP blamed the opposition party in the state for the incident, the APC denied the allegation that it brought police personnel from Abuja to block the Assembly complex.

In a statement on Thursday, Chairman of the APC Media Campaign Council in Edo, John Mayaki, explained that as a political party, the APC does not control the police.

He, however, accused the Edo State government of carrying out several onslaughts against the constitutional independence of the legislative arm of government by attacking its members-elect and denying them representation.

Mayaki alleged that the governor was responsible for a number of sieges on the Assembly complex, adding that he was in the best position to explain who sponsored the blockade of the Assembly.

“It is a known fact that the outgoing governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has treated the House of Assembly, an independent and co-equal branch of government, as a mere extension of his office through the brutalisation of members-elect and the denial of representation to the majority of members,” he claimed.

The campaign council spokesman added, “In Gestapo style, the outgoing governor hijacked a tiny minority and purportedly inaugurated them in the dead of the night.

“The sham inauguration was condemned and set aside by both arms of the National Assembly after their separate investigations revealed that the members, and indeed the Clerk, were forced to participate in the illegality under threat to life.”

Earlier, Channels Television reported that security operatives from the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) laid a siege on the Assembly following a reported threat of an attack on the facility.

Responding to the allegations that the former National Chairman of the APC sponsored the blockade, Mayaki distanced Adams Oshiomhole and his party from the incident.

A file photo of former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

He stressed that if Oshiomhole had the power to control the police, he would not be locked out of the APC’s national secretariat in Abuja after a court suspended him.

Instead, the campaign council spokesman called on the state government to explain what was going on to the people of Edo.

He alleged that a branch of government meant to carry out oversight functions and check the excesses of the executive arm had been holding plenary inside the Government House for months over a supposed fumigation and renovation exercise at the Assembly complex.

“If indeed he (Oshiomhole) has any control over the police, wouldn’t he have instructed them to leave and grant him entry (into the APC national secretariat)?” Mayaki questioned.