The impeachment plot against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State thickened yesterday as the Hon. Adewale Omirin-led All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers yesterday claimed they met at Mary Hills Boys High School, Ado-Ekiti, at about 1pm. They claimed to have directed the Chief Judge to constitute a panel to investigate the governor over some alleged infractions.
But in a quick reaction, the Special Assistant to the governor on Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, faulted the claims of the 19 lawmakers, saying the House is on recess and no sitting could have taken place.
Also, checks by Daily Sun and other newsmen at the school around 3:30 pm yesterday, revealed that no such thing took place, as the teachers, who craved anonymity, said no sitting or meeting was held there.
In a statement issued to newsmen by the APC lawmakers yesterday and signed by Omirin’s spokesman, Mr. Wole Olujobi, claimed that they have written to the Chief Judge. Mr. Justice Ayodeji Daramola, asking him to set up a panel to investigate allegations raised in the impeachment notice to the governor.
It said: “At a special sitting held at Mary Hills Boys High School, Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, the lawmakers said they relied on Section 101 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which empowers the Assembly to regulate their sittings, including sitting in a public building within the state capital if conditions exist in the hallowed chamber that endanger members’ lives.
“Majority Leader, Churchill Adedipe, Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency One, explained that the sitting ought to have taken place in the hallowed chamber on April 7, 2015 but members were waylaid by thugs who mounted roadblocks and threatening their lives with dangerous weapons, thereby making them to abandon going to the Assembly.
“Relying on Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Adedipe moved the motion empowering the Chief Judge to set up the panel.
His motion was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Adetunji Orisalade, representing Ido/Osi Constituency Two.
The seven-man panel to be constituted by the Chief Judge within seven days of receipt of the letter is to investigate Governor Fayose and his Deputy, Olusola Eleka, over allegations of gross misconduct raised in their impeachment notice. Speaker Adewale Omirin presided over the sitting.
After the debate, the lawmakers supported the motion directing the Chief Judge to set up the panel. The House adjourned to the next legislative day.
Declaring that no sitting took place yesterday, Mr. Olayinka said: “The House of Assembly is on recess. No sitting of the House is taking place in the House of Assembly.The House is presently on recess. Kindly disregard infomation being circulated by the APC that their lawmakers are sitting somewhere in Ado-Ekiti.
“Of course, members of the House of Assembly can gather anywhere in the world to have social or political meetings. Parliamentary business is done in the hallowed chamber of the House of Assembly.
“Besides, Dr Adewale Omirin, who claimed to be the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, was impeached on November 20, 2014 and he is in court, challenging his impeachment,” he said.
Meanwhile, monarchs under the auspices of the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers have pleaded wtih Governor Fayose and the embattled APC lawmakers to sheathe their swords for peace to reign.
A communique read by the council’s Chairman and the Onitaji of Itaji -Ekiti, Oba Adamo Babalola, said the face-off between the executive and the legislative arms had been on since Fayose was sworn in on October 16, 2014.
Oba Babalola said efforts made by the council to broker truce had consistently been stalled by claims of the two sides.
“The position stalled all further deliberations and efforts to find an amicable settlement of the matter. The recent development in our dear state is a source of concern and embarrassment to all well-meaning people of Ekiti State.
“It is sad that unfortunate incident which resulted in the death of one Mr Modupe Olaiya, of Efon-Alaaye could have been avoided.
“Council appreciates the representations from various groups and associations such as, the Ekiti State Council of Elders, the labour unions, both serving and retired, religious leaders, business and professional bodies for their concerns and suggestions.
“Council hereby appeals to all political gladiators to sheathe their swords, eschew violence and give peace a chance, as we believe that violence cannot solve the problems at hand”, the council stated.
The monarchs called on the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of lives and property during and after tomorrow’s House of Assembly election.