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Edo Assembly impeaches Speaker Francis Okiye

MEMBERS of the Edo State House of Assembly on Monday impeached Francis Okiye, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, over allegations of high-handedness.

This was followed by a motion led by the Majority Leader of the House, Henry Okhurobo, which was conveyed in a letter signed by nine out of the 10-member Assembly present at the sitting.

The House elected Marcus Onobun, representing Esan West State Constituency, as the new Speaker.

The Edo State House of Assembly had been embroiled in crises after it was inaugurated under controversial circumstances at night with only nine, out of 24 lawmakers-elect, on June 17, 2019, after an alleged announcement by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Also, 14 lawmakers who were not part of the process, and were members of the All Progressives Congress, APC rejected the process and called on the governor to issue a fresh proclamation.

A Federal High Court in Rivers State barred the governor from recalling the lawmakers while a separate court also barred the National Assembly from taking over the Edo Assembly.

An attempt by the aggrieved lawmakers to be inaugurated was, however, scuttled by hoodlums claiming to be renovating the Assembly complex.

However, the APC claimed the men were thugs hired by the governor who was afraid of being impeached.

The ICIR had reported that Obaseki who later dumped the APC for the People’s Democratic Party, said shortly after he won the September 19 poll that he lacked the power to bring back the 14 lawmakers yet to be inaugurated.

“Even if I wanted today to bring them back, I don’t have such powers, I do not have anything against them because I do not have such authority to bring them back to the house,” Obaseki said.

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According to the governor, the 14 lawmakers refused to be inaugurated hence their seats were declared vacant by the Speaker of the Assembly.

“They were listening to their godfather who kept hoping and promising that he would unconstitutionally get the State House of Assembly to reissue a proclamation even after the court had settled the matter,” he said.

“For more than 180 days they did not come. They refused to represent the people. Those seats became vacant; that’s what the constitution says.”

“They went to court after those were declared vacant by the Speaker. There is nothing I can do to that at this time,” Obaseki added.

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