By Patrick Ochoga, Benin City
The Edo ten members of the state House of Assembly made up of 7 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 3 All Progressive Congress, APC Lawmakers on Monday impeached the speaker, Mr. Francis Abumere Okiye over alleged financial impropriety.
Okiye represents Esan North East state constituency in the house.
In Okiye’s replacement, the majority controlled PDP lawmakers loyal to Governor Godwin Obaseki lawmakers subsequently elected Mr. Marcus Onobun representing Esan West constituency as the new speaker.
The impeachment of Okiye followed a motion moved by Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Henry Okhuarobo representing Ikpoba Okha state constituency.
Okhuarobo’s motion was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo 1 constituency in the house of 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 to the hearing of members in order to begin the business of 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 and was impeached.
The impeached speaker was also slammed with a three months suspension and set up a committee headed by Okhuarobo to investigate Okiye and report to the house.
The new speaker, Mr. Marcus Onobun upon his election, thanked the members for his emergence.
Accordingly, Onobun, moments after his election had quickly dissolved all the house standing committees and relieved all the appointees of the house of their various appointments.
Mr. Onobun also constituted a three man committee to look into financial records of the house under the leadership of the former speaker and also placed the former speaker under three months suspension to allow for a peaceful transition.
Speaking to newsmen inside the state Government House, Okhuarobo said “the members have compelling reasons to do what they did and that the house 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 State Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu, Secretary to the state Government, SSG, Osarodion Ogie Esq. 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 they lawmakers had concluded the impeachment move.
Many of the aides to the former speaker and workers including police personnel attached to the state assembly were seen stranded amid confusion as at the time of this report.
Also efforts to reach the former speaker Okiye for comment over his removal failed.