From Tony Osauzo, Benin
After many failed plots to unseat him, the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Justine Okonoboh, was yesterday impeached by members of the Assembly.
He was impeached along with his deputy, Elizabeth Ativie and the majority leader, Foly Ogedengbe.
Meanwhile, the House has elected Kabir Adjoto (APC) representing Akoko-Edo Constituency 1 as the new Speaker. Also elected were Victor Edoror, the former speaker representing Esan Central constituency as the new deputy speaker and Roland Asoro, representing Orhionmwon 11, as the majority leader.
Speaking to journalists, Adjoto said 16 members impeached the three principal officers and that after the impeachment the numbers rose to 19 members.
He said the impeached principal officers have been suspended for three months alongside Hon. Magnus Izehi-Igbas, (PDP) representing Esan North-East constituency 11.
He alleged that the impeached speaker ran the House as a private entity in conjunction with his wife.
”The impeached speaker converted the House to a private estate. We are supposed to be 24 members in the House but he co-opted his wife as 25th member who was now privileged to know all the operations before the members.
”He also awarded contracts to himself without recourse to the house standing rules and due process”, Adjoto further alleged.
According to him, members of the House were elected to be partner in the Edo State project with the governor of the state, whom he described as a performing governor.
Reacting to the impeachment, the removed majority leader, Foly Ogedengbe, described the action as null, void and unconstitutional.
He said only 11 members carried out the purported impeachment, pointing out that the number violated the provision of two-third majority.
He explained that 16 members have the constitutional right to impeach the principal officers of the House, stressing that 11 did not meet up with the two-third majority.