By Idowu Ariwodola
The new Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Gboyega Aribisogan, was on Monday impeached, barely six days after his election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aribisogan was also suspended as member along with his six loyalists indefinitely and without salary and other emoluments.
Aribisogan was immediately replaced with the House’s Chief Whip, Mrs Olubunmi Adelugba (APC-Emure Constituency), who earlier lost the election to Aribisogan on Nov. 15.
Adelugba was elected as the new Speaker by 17 lawmakers present at an emergency plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Hakeem Jamiu, amidst tight security around the Assembly complex.
Jamiu had earlier dissolved all the existing principal positions, put in place by Aribisogan and appointed Johnson Oyekola Bode-Adeoye, as the new Leader of Government Business.
At the plenary on the terms of punishment to be placed on Aribisogan and six others, the deputy speaker explained that the impeached speaker and six others were suspended without pay with immediate effect.
He said that they have also been barred from 1.5 kilometres radius of the premises of the House.
Jamiu, however, directed the axed lawmakers to handover properties of government in their possession to the Clerk of the House with immediate effect.
According to him, anyone wishing to be reabsorbed, must write a letter of apology to the leadership of the House.
Shortly after the election of the first female speaker in Ekiti, the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance were subsequently administered on Adelugba.
She became the first female Speaker in the history of the Assembly since return to democracy in 1999, and in the 26-year-old history of the state.
The new Speaker thanked her colleagues for counting her worthy to be elected as the speaker, promising not to take their trust and confidence reposed in her for granted.
She later adjourned the House’s sitting sine die (indefinitely).
Before the adjournment, six lawmakers were suspended for allegedly compromising the process of the election that produced Aribisogan as the Speaker on Nov. 15.
They were also accused of unpatriotic and unparliamentary conduct, capable of threatening the peace of the state.
Aribisogan and the six erring lawmakers were also barred from the vicinity of the House of Assembly Complex.
Their acts, according to members present, contravened the provisions of the House Standing Rules and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The affected lawmakers alongside the impeached Speaker are: Tajudeen Akingbolu (Ekiti-West I); Tope Ogunleye (Ilejemeje); Ajibade Adeyemi (Moba I); Adekemi Balogun (Ado-Ekiti I); Yemi Ayokunle (Ekiti South-West I) and Adegoke Olajide (Efon-Alaaye).
In his reactions, the impeached Speaker dismissed as effortless and irresponsible, his purported ouster from office.
Aribisogan attributed his ordeal to the handiwork of a former governor in the state.(NAN)