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Why Edo lawmakers impeached Speaker, deputy, majority leader

*Elects Adjoto as new Speaker

The Edo State House of Assembly on Monday impeached its Speaker, Justin Okonoboh; the deputy Speaker, Elizabeth Ativie; and the majority leader, Foly Ogedengbe, accusing the principal officers of “running the house like a private entity.”

The House quickly elected Kabir Adjoto (APC) representing Akoko-Edo constituency 1 as the substantive Speaker; Victor Edoror, the former Speaker representing Esan Central constituency as the new deputy speaker, while Roland Asoro, representing Orhionmwon 11 emerged the majority leader.

The new Speaker accused his impeached predecessor of converting the house “to a private estate.”

According to him, “the impeached Speaker converted the house to a private estate. We are supposed to be 24 members in the house but he now co-opted his wife as the 25th member who was now privileged to know all the operations before the members.

“He also awarded contracts to his personal self without recourse to the house standing rules and due process,” he said.

The new speaker said that 16 members impeached the three principal officers and that after the impeachment.

He said the impeached principal officers have been suspended for three months as well as Magnus Izehi-Igbas (PDP) representing Esan North-East constituency 11.

Adjoto said they were elected to be a partners in Edo state project with the Governor of the State whom he described as a performing governor.

However, the impeached Speaker, Okonobor, said he remains the speaker of the House, while describing his removal as illegal. According to him, “What they have done is illegal. I remain the speaker and Adjoto and others have been suspended indefinitely.”‎

Also reacting to the impeachment, the embattled majority leader, Ogedengbe, described the action as null, void and unconstitutional.‎

Ogedengbe said they were allegedly impeached by only eleven members a violation of two third majority.

Titus Akhigbe, Benin

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