Why Francis Okiye was impeached as Edo House of Assembly speaker

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THE crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly is far from over. On Monday, October 12, nine lawmakers impeached Francis Okiye, speaker of the House of Assembly.

The House also elected Marcus Onobun, representing Esan West State Constituency, as the new dpeaker.

Okiye’s impeachment followed a motion by Henry Okhurobo, majority leader of the House, over allegations of high-handedness. His impeachment letter was signed by nine out of the 10-member Assembly present at the sitting.

The unabated crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly started when Governor Godwin Obaseki controversially inaugurated nine out of 24 lawmakers-elect on June 17, 2019, following an alleged proclamation.

The 14 lawmakers, who were not part of the process rejected the process and called on the governor to issue a fresh proclamation.

Some of the lawmakers went to court and obtain a restraining order from a Federal High Court in Rivers State, which barred the governor from issuing a fresh proclamation. Another court also barred the National Assembly from taking over the Edo House of Assembly.

The crisis led to worsening the feud in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state and the relationship between Governor Obaseki and Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the party.

The governor was believed to have orchestrated the suspension of Oshiomhole from the party at the ward level. In retaliation, Oshiomhole ensured that Obaseki did not clinch the governorship ticket of the APC while Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerged as the winner of the primary.

An attempt by the aggrieved lawmakers to be inaugurated was, however, stopped by men renovating the Assembly complex. But the APC claimed the men were thugs hired by the governor who was afraid of being impeached.

Realnews recalled that the governor, who later dumped the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said shortly after he won the September 19 poll that he lacked the power to bring back the 14 lawmakers yet to be inaugurated. “They were listening to their godfather who kept hoping and promising that he would unconstitutionally get the state House of Assembly to reissue a proclamation even after the court had settled the matter.

“For more than 180 days they did not come. They refused to represent the people. Those seats became vacant; that’s what the constitution says. They went to court after the seats were declared vacant by the Speaker. There is nothing I can do to that at this time.”

– Oct. 12, 2020 @ 17:39 GMT |

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