Speaker of Edo House of Assembly, Mr. Francis Okiye, has been impeached over alleged financial impropriety. Nine of the 10 inaugurated lawmakers impeached Okiye as Speaker. In Okiye’s replacement, the lawmakers elected Mr. Marcus Onobun representing Esan West constituency.
The Anthony Enahoro legislature is made up of seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and three All Progressives Congress (APC) legislators. Okiye represents Esan North East state constituency in the House. Okiye’s impeachment followed a motion moved by Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Henry Okhuarobo. Okhuarobo’s motion was seconded by the member representing Akoko- Edo 1 constituency in the Assembly, Prince Yekini Idaiye.
The member representing Igueben state constituency, Mr. Ephraim Aluebhosele had earlier moved a motion to nominate the new speaker after Okhuarobo raised the issue of a petition against Okiye and was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo 11 constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Agbaje.
Deputy Speaker of the house, Mr. Roland Asoro, presided over the plenary shortly after the impeachment process. Members of the House unanimously adopted the impeachment motion through a voice vote.
Trouble was said to have started shortly after the House resumed its plenary when Okiye asked the clerk, Alhaji Yahaya Omogbai to read the order of proceedings for the day.
Okhuarobo was said to have quickly drawn the attention of former Speaker Okiye to a petition against him and reeled out the impeachment motion. The lawmakers accused Okiye of alleged financial impropriety.
The former Speaker was suspended for three months while a committee headed by Okhuarobo was constituted to probe Okiye. The new speaker, Onobun, quickly dissolved all the house standing committees and relieved all the appointees of the house of their various appointments.
Onobun also constituted a three-man committee to look into financial records of the house under the leadership of the former speaker. Speaking to newsmen inside the Government House, Okhuarobo said: “The members have compelling reasons to do what they did and that the needed to wait till now because of political reasons and now the process is over. Irrespective of APC or PDP, we are united in the quest to move the state forward.”
There was drama as efforts by the Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie and immediate past Speaker and Political Adviser to the Governor on Politics (Edo North senatorial district), Mr. Kabiru Adjoto, to wade into the matter yesterday, failed as the lawmakers had concluded the impeachment move.
It was learnt that no one resisted the plot leading to the eventual removal of Okiye as speaker. Efforts to reach the former speaker for comment over his removal failed. The state governor, Godwin Obaseki will be sworn in on November 12 for another term of four years in office.