The current ongoing cash crunch affecting many states in the country appeared to have claimed a major casualty at the Edo State legislature.
The State House of Assembly on Tuesday in a dramatic and shocking move impeached the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Victor Edoror and his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Festus Ebea, both of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), over what was learnt to be welfare-related issues.
Sixteen out of the 24 members voted in favour of the impeachment motion on the grounds of alleged misconduct, incompetence and high-handedness.
After their impeachment, the members elected Mrs. Elizabeth Ative, who represents Uhunmwonde Constituency, as the new Speaker.
The impeachment followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Mr Folly Ogedemgbe (APC-Owan- East) and seconded by Mr Patrick Illuobe (PDP – Esan-North East).
“This is an impeachment notice signed by 16 members that the speaker Victor Edoroh and his deputy, are hereby impeached,’’ Ogedemgbe said during the house sitting.
NAN reports that shortly after moving the motion, Ogedemgbe nominated Illuobe to preside over the election, who thereafter called for nomination for a new speaker and deputy.
Ativie’s name was submitted as speaker by Mr Victor Assen (APC-Owan-East), while Mr Justin Okonobo ( APC-Igueben) was nominated as deputy speaker by Henry Okhuobo (APC-Orhionmwon).
The two were subsequently approved to lead the House by the lawmakers.
A mild drama, however, ensued immediately after the new speaker took her seat, when the assembly’s chamber was invaded by some suspected thugs.
The situation made security operatives to immediately take over control of the assembly’s premises, as staff scampered for safety.
It was gathered from sources at the government house, Benin that the lawmakers moved against them over their inability to get Governor Adams Oshiomhole to provide funding for the Assembly despite their unflinching support for the Executive arm over the years.
The sources claimed that many lawmakers in the state have no official cars and several other extras usually attached to their office and committees.
“What they have done by impeaching their leaders, whose elections were influenced by the Governor is a warning shot to him to either start funding them properly or risk impeachment as well,” one of the sources said last night.
The development has thrown the state into confusion even thought the state government is yet to officially react to the impeachment as at press time.
Across many states of the federation, the situation is the same with many of the Houses of Assembly unable to perform statutory functions because of paucity of funds.