The siege laid on Edo House of Assembly on Tuesday by security operatives following the emergence of a counter speaker of the House by the police continued Wednesday as the whole of King’s Square Benin was totally shut off to human and vehicular traffic.
The blockage, which grounded economic activities in the metropolis, affected Airport Rroad, Sapele Road, Oba Market and Akenzua Roads, as well as the ring that made up Ring Road.
Armed police, Civil Defence officers, and Mobile police officers surrounded the whole area, with over 50 patrol vehicles surrounding the whole of King’s Square.
Legislators of both factions, who went into a reconciliatory meeting with top police bosses of the state, including Edo Chief of Police, Sola Adebanjo dragged into the evening as the meeting was deadlocked.
The brunt of the lockdown was felt most by businesses located around the premises, which were forced to completely close down. The post office, the Central Hospital that shares a fence with the Assembly, as well as Lagos Street and Mission Road were all majorly affected as a go-slow prevented business flow.
A heavy gridlock affected all the roads leading to Ring Road, as motorists sought alternate routes to get to their destinations. Transporters, whose parks were by the Oba Market area also sought alternative loading points as police barricaded all the routes.
In a related development, a Benin High Court has restrained the four lawmakers – Hon Festus Ebea, Hon Patrick Osayimwen, Hon Jude Ise-Idehen and Hon Friday Ogieriakhi- suspended on Monday by the Edo State House of Assembly from gaining entrance into the premises of the Assembly and the legislative quarters.
The court also restrained the suspended lawmakers, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 5, Benin City and the Commissioner of Police, Edo State from interfering with the Sitting activities and other functions of the state Assembly pending the determination of a motion on Notice before it.