The Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, has denied that the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin, was impeached Monday by lawmakers loyal to him.
Ten out of 26 members of the House reconvened Monday without the speaker or the deputy, and named a speaker pro tempore, before approving nominations sent in by the governor.
The lawmakers ratified the appointment of three commissioners, 12 advisers and reconstituted the caretaker committees of the 16 Local Government Areas in the state.
The approvals fueled reports Mr. Omirin had been technically removed from office.
All the lawmakers in attendance were members of the governor’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, said seven lawmakers attended the session, and lambasted the police for providing them full protection despite clearly not meeting the required quorum for the sitting.
During the sitting, the members nominated one of its members, Dele Olugbemi, as the Speaker pro-tempore, an action described by some as a technical impeachment of the substantive Speaker.
But Governor Fayose said in a statement that the lawmakers were breached no laws, and did not impeach the substantive speaker.
“Our attention has been drawn to the news aired by the AIT that the Ekiti State Speaker has been impeached by 7 members,” said his spokesperson, Idowu Adelusi.
“Well, I am not supposed to respond to the lies aired by the AIT purposely to misinformed members of the public because the legislature is another arm of government and whatever they do in their chamber is their business and the executive arm has nothing to do with that.
The statement said: “If they remove their leaders and appoint new ones, that is their business. However, to educate the public, no speaker was removed.”
The governor said nine members of the House sat to and that the House’s standing order allows a quorum of 9 members to sit and appoint a presiding officer.
He criticized the APC, which had earlier lambasted the lawmakers for their action.
“APC are only being hypocritical. APC-controlled state of Edo, we all know what is happening there,” he said. “For over a year now, the state governor has prevented the lawmakers from sitting.
“He said he was going to renovate the Assembly Complex and PDP lawmakers have been meeting in the dilapidated complex, while APC lawmakers are meeting at the Government House.
“Also another APC state of Rivers, the judiciary has been shut down for over a year too.”