The crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly took a new dimension on Wednesday with the impeachment of the Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, for alleged misconduct and misdemeanour.
Ebea’s impeachment was endorsed by 15 lawmakers, including the Speaker of the House, Uyi Igbe, during plenary at an old chamber, located in the Government House in Benin.
The Edo House of Assembly has remained polarized over the suspension of some lawmakers and the alleged plan to impeach the governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
While moving the motion for the impeachment, a member representing Owan East I, Folly Ogedengbe, noted that the suspended Deputy Speaker was bound to be impeached, citing Section 92(2C) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 72, Rule 19 of the Assembly.
The lawmakers also elected a replacement, Victor Edoror, who took the oath of office immediately.
The House explained that it had to hold sitting inside the Government House following ongoing renovation works on the chambers, located at the Anthony Enahoro Assembly Complex, which came about as a result of possible forceful entry by the deputy speaker and some aides.
“This renovation work going on there was caused by the fact that the former Deputy Speaker and a group of aides forcibly entered the place and destroyed doors and windows.
“Of course, we had to repair them and put them back to shape”, Igbe said.
The speaker also disclosed that that it would take a couple of weeks for repair works to be completed and legislators able to resume sittings there.
Igbe said, “So, rather than sitting at home doing only oversight functions, I think the idea is that we should have somewhere to do plenary”.
The speaker added that there were lots of reports in the House that required attention.
Also commenting, a member of the House, representing Etsako Central, Johnson Oghuma, who said that the Assembly was a civilised and law-abiding House, expressed dismay that a member of the House could defy a valid court order.
“If somebody, who call himself a lawmaker in a state, will not obey court order; it is disheartening.
“We cannot make law and yet refused to obey the law that we make”, Oghuma said.
The House adjourned sitting to July 7, saying that it would resume plenary in the old chamber.
However, the impeached Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, described his unseating as “executive impunity and madness”.