Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Gboyega Aribisogan, was yesterday, impeached, barely six days after his election.
Aribisogan was replaced with the House’s Chief Whip, Mrs. Olubunmi Adelugba (APC-Emure Constituency), who earlier lost the election to Aribisogan on November 15.
Adelugba was elected as by 17 lawmakers present at an emergency plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hakeem Jamiu, amidst tight security around the Assembly complex.
Jamiu had earlier dissolved all existing principal positions put in place by Aribisogan and appointed Johnson Oyekola Bode-Adeoye, as the new leader of Government Business.
The deputy speaker explained that the impeached speaker and six others were suspended without pay with immediate effect. He said they have also been barred from 1.5 kilometres radius of the premises of the House.
Jamiu directed the axed lawmakers to handover properties of government in their possession to the Clerk of the House with immediate effect. According to him, anyone wishing to be reabsorbed, must write a letter of apology to the leadership of the House.
Shortly after the election of the first female speaker in Ekiti, the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance were subsequently administered on Adelugba. She became the first female Speaker in the history of the Assembly since return to democracy in 1999, and in the 26-year-old history of the state.
The new Speaker thanked her colleagues for counting her worthy to be elected and promised not to take their trust and confidence for granted. She later adjourned the House’s sitting sine die (indefinitely).
The affected lawmakers suspended alongside the impeached Speaker are: Tajudeen Akingbolu (Ekiti-West I); Tope Ogunleye (Ilejemeje); Ajibade Adeyemi (Moba I); Adekemi Balogun (Ado-Ekiti I); Yemi Ayokunle (Ekiti South-West I) and Adegoke Olajide (Efon-Alaaye).
But impeached Speaker dismissed his impeachment irresponsible, even as he attributed his ordeal to the handiwork of immediate past governor, Kayode Fayemi.
However, Fayemi has washed his hands off the impeachment.
The Fayemi Media Office in a statement by Ahmad Sajoh, said: “We wish to clarify that Dr. Fayemi had nothing to do with the removal of the former Speaker by his peers as this was the internal arrangement of the State House of Assembly. We wish to note that even as governor, Dr. Fayemi did not interfere with the independence of the House and respected the principle of separation of powers where the House had freedom to decide on their internal affairs.”