The Edo State House of Assembly Speaker, Francis Okiye, has been removed from office.
Mr Okiye was impeached by nine out of the 10 lawmakers who sat on Monday.
Although Edo Assembly has 24 members, only 10 were controversially inaugurated by the governor last year.
The inaugurated members include seven Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers and three All Progressives Congress (APC) legislators.
The impeached speaker, Mr Okiye, represents Esan North-East state constituency and presided over his own impeachment.
A new speaker, Marcus Onobun, representing Esan West constituency, was elected.
The latest development came just about a month to the swearing-in of Governor Obaseki (on November 12 this year) for another term of four years in office.
The impeachment of Mr Okiye followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Henry Okhuarobo, who represents Ikpoba Okha constituency.
Mr Okhuarobo’s motion was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo 1 constituency in the House, Yekini Idiaye.
The member representing Igueben constituency, Ephraim Aluebhosele, had earlier moved a motion to nominate the new speaker after Mr Okhuarobo raised the issue of a petition against Mr Okiye and was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo 11 constituency, Emmanuel Agbaje.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Roland Asoro, presided over the plenary shortly after the impeachment process.
The members of the House unanimously adopted the impeachment motion through a voice vote.
How the impeachment move started
Trouble was said to have started shortly after the House resumed its plenary, when Mr Okiye asked the clerk, Yahaya Omogbai, to read the order of proceedings for the day to the hearing of members to begin the business of the day.
Mr Okhuarobo was said to have quickly drawn the attention of Mr Okiye to a petition against him and reeled out the impeachment motion.
The lawmakers accused Mr Okiye of alleged financial impropriety and booted him out in the process.
The new speaker, Mr Onobun, upon his election, thanked the members for his emergence.
Accordingly, Mr Onobun, moments after his election, 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-member committee led by Mr Okhuarobo 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 journalists inside the state government house, Mr 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, Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, and a former speaker and political adviser to the governor on Politics (Edo North Senatorial District) Kabiru Adjoto, to wade into the matter failed as they (lawmakers) insisted that they had concluded the impeachment move.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that all the nine lawmakers agreed to the plot leading to the eventual removal of Mr Okiye as the speaker.
Many of the aides to the former speaker and workers, including police personnel attached to the state assembly were seen stranded amid confusion as of the time of this report.
Also, efforts to reach the former speaker, Mr Okiye, for comment over his removal failed as he did not answer several calls. His official Lexus SUV was blocked with other vehicles to prevent it being moved out of the temporary assembly complex in the government house.
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