Aribisogan Reacts To His Impeachment, Accuses Assembly Members Of Illegal Action

By Damilare Adeleye
Click for Full Image Size

The impeached Ekiti State Assembly Speaker, Ekiti State, Hon. Olugboyega Aribisogan, has described his impeachment as unconstitutional with no effect whatsoever.

Describing his purported impeachment by the lawmakers opposed to him as undemocratic and as such cannot stand judicial scrutiny, Aribisogan insisted that he remains the Speaker of the Assembly.

Recall that 17 members of the House of Assembly had, Monday, convened between 6.30 am to 9.30 am under the protection and guidance of combined forces of heavily armed security men, impeached Aribisogan and immediately replaced him with a female lawmaker and Chief Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba.

Aribisogan was elected by the lawmakers last week to replace the late Speaker, Hon Funminiyi Afuye.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers also suspended Aribisogan and six other lawmakers supporting him indefinitely for allegedly sabotaging the passage of the 2022 appropriation supplementary bill.

Aribisogan said the action of the group of 17 lawmakers was a flagrant violation of the extant rules and the Assembly’s Standing Order.

He said, “In view of the foregoing, we hereby call on the Government and people of Ekiti State and all constituted authorities to note that Rt. Hon. Olugboyega Aribisogan remains the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“While we urge Ekiti people to be watchful, they should remain calm in the face of the gross subversion of democratic principles which took place in the House of Assembly today. We remain confident that justice and the rule of law will prevail.”

Aribisogan noted, “The general public must note that Order II, Rule 9 of the House Rules clearly prescribed that before the Speaker can be removed from office, he must be served with a formal notice of allegations and given a period of 72 hours to respond.

“The Rules further state that such response will be reviewed by an Adhoc Committee set up by the House for that purpose before a vote on impeachment of the Speaker can be taken on the floor of the House.

“The unlawful assembly of today was so stepped in illegality that the disgruntled members did not care to pretend to comply with these Rules in carrying out the purported impeachment of the Speaker.

“It should also be noted that the members present at the unlawful assembly did not meet the statutory number of seventeen which the House Rules state can impeach a Speaker. If the disgruntled members dispute this fact, they should provide the video recordings of today’s sham proceedings.

Aribisogan strongly condemned what he described as “illegal invasion of the House of Assembly Chambers by seven disgruntled members at the unparliamentary hour of 6.00am, to carry out impeachment against him.

He added that it was brazen display of naked power and gross abuse of office for the lawmakers to have held a sitting under a stringent cover by the police to carry out impeachment against, saying such would not stand in the face of the law.

He continued; “Ekiti people are aware that the House of Assembly adjourned sitting sine die after the election of Rt. Hon. Aribisogan as Speaker on 15th November, 2022. Our people are also aware that a detachment of armed policemen took over the premises of the Assembly Complex since the early hours of Wednesday, 16th November thereby preventing the legislature from undertaking its constitutionally prescribed duties.

“This morning, seven disgruntled members of the House were shepherded into the Assembly Chamber by the policemen for a session that can only be described as an unlawful gathering and definitely not a plenary sitting because, the gathering was not convened in accordance with Order V, Rule 18 (1) of the House Rules.

“In view of the fact that the presence of the members in the Chamber was in contradiction of the House Rules, the purported impeachment of Mr. Speaker and suspension of seven members is illegal, ultra vires, null and void and of no effect.

“The actions are not legally sustainable and would definitely be quashed be a court of competent jurisdiction”, he said.