Ousted speaker faults action, insists House yet to reconvene
The serenity of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was yesterday altered as 14 members impeached the speaker, Kolawole Oluwawole, and other principal officers.Comprising three All Progressives Congress (APC) and 11 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful, the actors suspended 12 others, including the deposed Oluwawole, perceived to be loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose for 125 legislative days.
Though the impeachment took place behind closed door, but in a statement after the session by the new speaker, Ebenezer Alagbada, the lawmakers pledged their cooperation to the governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to move the state forward.The legislators predicated their action on the need to reposition the legislature for effective service delivery.
They accused the ousted speaker of being clueless and leading the House adrift. The speaker said: “We have to do something drastic to save the legislature from anarchy and insult.”You are aware that Ekiti State House of Assembly has since inception of this outgoing administration become a property of the governor rather than an arm of government.
“The secret and horrid sitting of last month where a purported supplementary budget was considered and passed in less than an hour is sad and a food for thought.”Alagbada consequently dissolved all of the House’s statutory and standing committees, directing the chairmen to hand over to their secretaries.
Besides Oluwawole, others suspended are Shina Animasahun; Omotoso Samuel; Wale Ayeni; Dare Pelemọ; Jeje Samuel and Akinleye Dayo. The rest were Fajemilehin Ayodele; Fasanmi Temitope; Tunji Akinyele and Sanya Aladeyelu. The Assembly also reinstated former Deputy Speaker Segun Adewumi.
During the sitting, Sunday Akinniyi of the APC was elected Minority Leader; Fajana Ojo-Ade got Deputy Leader’s post, Chief Whip’s position went to Cecilia Dada while Musa Arogundade emerged Deputy Chief Whip.At a news conference later, a lawmaker, Gboyega Aribisogan, who maintained all that was needed was a quorum of the 26-member chamber, clarified that the PDP remains the majority party in the House.
But Oluwawole described his removal as a “rape on democracy and a descent to the lowest level of lawlessness and illegality.”In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Stephen Gbadamosi, the ousted speaker alleged that the actors were provided police cover who prevented other members and staff of the legislature from gaining entrance into the complex.His words: “This is bizarre! In a democracy? This is the height of illegality and it can never stand. As the speaker, I supervised the last adjournment of the House which was carried out according to laid down rules.”
“I retain the power to reconvene the House and I have not done that yet.”He added: How then can some people say the House sat? This is totally illegal. The role of the police in this siege is clear. It was enemies of democracy that purportedly sat. Ekiti State House of Assembly has not been reconvened by its speaker.”