CRISIS of confidence has rocked Edo State House of Assembly with the removal from office, of the Speaker, Mr. Victor Edoror and his deputy, Mr. Bright Osayande, yesterday, by members of the House. Meanwhile, the new Speaker, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie, yesterday, announced the suspension of the impeached Speaker, Mr Edoror, for three months for invading the chambers with thugs.
Ativie, who briefed newsmen shortly after the former speaker was impeached, said the House took the decision to impeach the speaker on grounds of high-handedness, dictatorial tendencies and financial recklessness. “The removal of the speaker is a victory for democracy and freedom for Edo State House of Assembly; we are all witnesses to how he has brought the House to disrepute.
“We have taken this decision today because he invaded the hallowed chambers with thugs. Due process was followed in the impeachment of the speaker,” Ativie said. She added that the impeached speaker has up to six different financial cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, adding that members cannot continue to allow such a person to lead the House.
She, therefore, said that a five-member committee headed by Kabiru Adjoto representing Akoko-Edo I, will investigate the financial recklessness of the impeached speaker from June 2015 till May 3, 2016, adding that if found wanting after the committee’s report, he will be handed over to the appropriate authority. The impeachment of the Speaker and his deputy is coming after three attempts had been made to remove them, as only last month he escaped being removed when he had to adjourn plenary for two days to enable them resolve whatever grievances they had internally.
Meanwhile, the impeached Speaker, Edoror, has described his impeachment as a ruse, insisting that he remained speaker of the Assembly. Edoror, who spoke after a brief meeting with six other lawmakers, pointed out that 11 members cannot impeach the speaker in a 24-member assembly. He also said that the Assembly erred by convoking plenary in his absence. He said: “They have a paper duly signed by 11 members. That is not a quorum to remove a speaker.
We do not want to suspend any member now. They have learnt their lessons and ran away from the chamber. “They don’t have the requisite number. We are carrying out our jobs for the benefit of the state in support of the governor. There is no allegation of corruption against me. Those allegations are frivolous.”
The removal of the two foremost principal officers of the Assembly was sequel to a motion by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Folly Ogedegbe, who represents Owan-East constituency and seconded by the member representing Etsako West 11 constituency, Mr. Gani Audu. Part of the motion paper as read by Mr. Audu said: “We the under listed and undersigned members representing the various constituencies in Edo State House of Assembly have on this day, May 3, 2016, resolved to impeach our speaker, Chief Edoror and the Deputy Speaker, Osayande, for acts of gross misconduct.” Mr. Patrick Iluobe, representing Edo North East 11 presided over the business of the day as Speaker ex-tempo.