Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
There was palpable tension at the Edo State House of Assembly yesterday, as members of the House impeached the deputy speaker, Victor Edoror.
As early as 8:00a.m. the premises of the House had been taken over by combined armed security personnel, made up of Department of State Security, mobile policemen and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), while hefty and fierce-looking suspected political thugs positioned themselves at strategic locations within the premises.
It was gathered that the presence of the security personnel was to forestall possible impeachment of the speaker of the House over alleged legal suit instituted against the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a result of the alleged substitution of his name with that of Peter Akpatason by the national leadership of the party.
Chief Whip of the House, Osaigbovo Iyoha (APC), representing Oredo East Constituency, who moved the motion for the impeachment, said the deputy speaker was impeached over alleged misappropriation of funds, corruption and act of desperation tantamount to causing division in the House.
The motion was seconded by Emmanuel Agbaje, (APC), representing Akoko-Edo II.
Iyoha said the letter of impeachment was signed by 16 members of the House.
But, efforts by Foly Ogedengbe (APC), representing Owan East constituency, to move counter-motion ended in vain as the speaker refused to recognise him.
Ogedengbe, however, accused the Speaker of the House, Kabiru Adjoto, (APC) representing Akoko-Edo I, of embezzling N100 million belonging to the House.
The impeachment of the deputy speaker, however, resulted to rowdiness as the embattled deputy speaker seized the mace.
Consequently, Adjoto, announced the suspension of Edoror, Foly Ogedengbe and Gani Audu, (APC) representing Etsako West I, for three months, for alleged unruly behaviour, respectively.
House Majority Leader, Roland Asoro, nominated the former speaker, Justine Okonobo, as the new deputy speaker and was seconded by Emmnauel Agbaje.
The premises of the House was, however, invaded and taken over by suspected political thugs who were armed with sticks after adjournment of plenary session by the lawmakers.
The thugs, however, failed in their attempt to man-handle a lawmaker, Ogedengbe.