Okiye, Edo speaker impeached

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Francis Okiye, speaker of Edo state house of assembly, has been removed.

Okiye was removed over allegations of “high-handedness” following a motion moved by Henry Okhurobo, house majority leader, and seconded by Yekini Idaiye, lawmaker representing Akoko-Edo I.

The impeachment letter was said to have been signed by nine of 10 assembly members at the plenary session on Monday.

Marcus Onobun, representing Esan-west constituency, was immediately sworn in as the new speaker.

Onobun thanked the members for their support, and thereafter, dissolved all the standing committees of the assembly.

He also constituted a three-man committee to look into the financial records of the assembly under the leadership Okiye.

Okiye was consequently placed on a three-month suspension to allow for “a peaceful transition”.

The crisis in the state house of assembly started when nine lawmakers loyal to Godwin Obaseki, the governor, were secretly inaugurated in June.

The rift between Adams Oshiomhole, suspended national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Obaseki had led to the factionalisation of the assembly.

Okiye later declared the seats of the 14 lawmakers-elect vacant for “failing to present their certificates of return to the clerk for inauguration”.

According to Okiye, the lawmakers-elect were excluded from the inauguration into office because they deliberately refused to do the necessary documentation.

After he won the September 19 election, Obaseki said he has no power to bring back the lawmakers-elect yet to be inaugurated.

The governor said the 14 elected lawmakers were not prevented from performing their duties, but they “refused to be inaugurated”.

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