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Ekiti Assembly Suspends 12 Pro-Fayose Lawmakers

With barely five days to the change of government in Ekiti State, an ally of outgoing Governor Ayo Fayose, Mr. Kola Oluwawole, was impeached as the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

Oluwawole was on Thursday removed alongside the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Sina Animasaun, by fourteen lawmakers who belong to both People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).

An APC lawmaker, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada, was elected new Speaker while Mr. Segun Adewumi, was returned to his former post of Deputy Speaker.

Minority Leader, Mr. Gboyega Aribisogan, was elected as the new House Leader of Business while former Chief Whip, Mr. Sunday Akinniyi, emerged as the new Minority Leader.

Mr. Ojo-Ade Fajana emerged as Deputy House Leader, Mrs. Cecilia Dada as Chief Whip and Mr. Musa Arogundade as Deputy Chief Whip.

The Assembly also suspended Oluwawole and eleven other lawmakers for 125 legislative days.

Other lawmakers slammed with the hammer of suspension are Animasaun, Samuel Omotoso, Wale Onigiobi, Wale Ayeni, Dare Pelemo, Samuel Jeje, Dayo Akinleye, Delete Fajemilehin, Tope Fasanmi, Tunji Akinyele and Sanya Aladeyelu.

The leadership change was effected by three APC members and eleven PDP members at a plenary attended by the Clerk, Mr. Told Esan.

Speaking with reporters after plenary, Aribisogan, the new Leader of Business, said Oluwawole and other PDP lawmakers were suspended over alleged complicity in the disappearance of N60 million in the House.
He also added that they were also slammed with suspension for ineptitude, saying they allegedly allowed the reputation of the Assembly to be destroyed by the governor with their attitudes.

Aribisogan also stated that the assembly under Oluwawole was poorly funded , became practically a subservient of the executive and the speakership position was hijacked by powerful members, owing to their closeness to the governor.

He also accused the former speaker of betraying Ekiti populace by holding a secret plenary last month with other suspended members to approve N10 billion supplementary budget sent by Fayose.

“Today, we held a plenary session which was a follow up to the parliamentary we held yesterday and we carried out changes in the leadership of the House.

“When the PDP members were busy doing the presidential primary in Port Harcourt, we were busy here strategizing on how best to make Ekiti governance for the incoming government, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

“14 members sat to carry out these changes out of which 11 are addressing this press conference. We have 26 members in this Assembly, and we needed just nine to form quorum.

“Our actions were guided by the standing orders of this Assembly and we didn’t deviate from it, so the quorum was formed and our actions were legal and constitutional”, he added.

He added that the PDP still remains the majority party in the Assembly and that those who carried out the removal did so in the overriding interest of Ekiti people.

The new Speaker, Hon Alagbada , in his acceptance speech, appreciated the members for reposing confidence in him, saying he won’t betray the confidence the trust .

“You are aware that the House has since inception of the present administration becomes the property of the governor rather than an arm of government. Ekiti State is yearning for a purposeful legislature that would be truly committed and independent to discharge its constitutional duties.

“We will no longer allow a situation whereby legislature will be pocketed or caged by the executive. Let me assure all and sundry that that we will cooperate with the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi to move Ekiti forward.

“You will recall that the fourth assembly changed its leadership in 2014 when sme members of APC defected to PDP to facilitate the smooth take off of Mr. Fayose. So, history is only repeating itself and there is nothing extra ordinary in what we have done”

The new Speaker announced the dissolution of all statutory and standing committees of the House, urging the chairmen to hand over to their respective secretaries.

But the deposed Speaker, Oluwawole, accused the Police of colluding with the new leadership and suspected political thugs to invade the Assembly and carry out the act.

He described his ompeachment today as a rape on democracy and an a descent to lowest level of lawlessness and illegality.

Addressing reporters at the new Speaker’s Lodge, Oluwawole said the lawmakers who removed him did not meet the two-third majority.

“This is bizarre! In a democracy? This is the height of illegality and it can never stand. As the Speaker of the House, I supervised over the last adjournment of the House, which was carried out according to laws and laid down rules.

“I retain the power to reconvene the House and i have not done that yet. 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 purported the House sat. Ekiti State House of Assembly has not been reconvened by its speaker.”

Governor Ayo Fayose in his immediate reaction to the change of leadership of the House has advised the lawmakers to put the interest of state first.

Fayose during a press conference on the State of the State said the welfare of Ekiti people should be paramount to the legislators.

He said: “The well-being and the welfare of Ekiti people is important to them whether or is Oluwawole or Alagbada.

“What is important to Ekiri people is their welfare. In the next 72 hours, I will leave and whatever it is, they are all members of Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“Whoever that they agree among themselves to be Speaker, they should work with him. Honourable members should work together for the good of Ekiti State.

“I enjoin them to cooperate with the incoming governor, Ekiti State is bigger than all of us. I won’t dabble into their affairs because whatever they sow today, they will reap tomorrow.”

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