The protracted crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly yesterday took a new twist following the impeachment of the suspended Deputy Speaker of the assembly Mr. Festus Ebea.
The member representing Esan Central constituency, Mr. Victor Edoror, was elected as the new Deputy Speaker.
The impeachment came after the assembly relocated to the old Exco Chamber at the state Government House.
The motion for the impeachment of the suspended deputy speaker was moved by Folly Ogedengbe, member representing Owan East constituency, and seconded by Patrick Aisoweren, Orhionmwon I constituency.
While the motion for the election of Olorotunba Bamidele. member representing Akoko Edo II was supported by Sunday Osazemwinde Ovia Northeast I.
They accused the suspended deputy speaker of allegedly forcefully breaking into the to take over the office of the Speaker, Uyi Igbe, high handedness and gross misconduct.”
The 15 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers commenced sitting at about 11:10a.m. yesterday.
Before the commencement of the sitting, the Majority Leader of the assembly, Philip Shaibu, through Urgent Matter of Public Importance, moved for the temporal relocation of the proceedings of the assembly to the old Exco Chambers, explaining that the relocation became necessary due to the renovation work at the Ring Road Chambers of the House.
Explaining, Shaibu said the Speaker had on Tuesday visited the assembly complex at Ring Road and it was agreed that renovation work should commence on it, noting that that was the reason why assembly decided to relocate temporarily to the old chambers which was used in 1992.
Shaibu, who contended that the assembly was relocating temporarily to Government House for legislative business, noted that there was ongoing renovation at the assembly.
He said the facilities of the assembly were vandalised by the former deputy speaker and eight other lawmakers, pointing out that the renovation exercise would not further derail the lawmakers in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities.
According to him, “for now I want to move that the assembly temporarily relocate to the Edo State Government old Exco Chamber for its legislative activities as a result of the ongoing renovation exercise at the assembly especially at the hallowed chambers.
“The house facilities were vandalised by the former deputy speaker, Festus Ebea and other eight lawmakers. We will be using this place temporarily pending the completion of the ongoing renovation at the Anthony Enahoro complex. The decision was to ensure that legislative activities do not further suffer,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the speaker of the assembly, Uyi Igbe, announced the co-option of Elizabeth Aitivie, the only female lawmaker who also represents Uhunmwode constituency as member of Principal Officer Council (POC) following the suspension of Jude Ise- Idehen from the house who was former member of the council.
Reacting to the impeachment of the former deputy speaker, the Minority Leader, Emma Okoduwa, said the action of the APC lawmakers negate the constitutional provision that has to do with the impeachment of a deputy speaker.
According to him, “If APC lawmakers want to have deputy speaker for the APC caucus that is not for Edo State House of Assembly. The deputy speaker can only be impeached by the two third majority of the house. The APC lawmakers are just 15 and that cannot be said to be two third majority in accordance with the constitutional provision.”
There was however a drama in the assembly as Bright Osayande, representing Ovia North East II threatened to stage a walk out of the plenary sitting following the refusal of the assembly to consider the reports its committee presented to the assembly.
Osayande, who is the Chairman, Committee of Public Account had presented reports to the assembly for consideration at a committee of whole which some lawmakers said it was defective and needed some corrections.
The lawmakers’ contention that the reports be stepped down for a later day however infuriated Osayande who angrily dropped the reports and got up to walk out of the sitting, but was persuaded by the Speaker and Majority Leader to calm down.
The assembly after considering some pending reports such as the state government yearly accounts, adjourned till Monday July 7.