By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-THE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo state Thursday said the impeachment of the suspended Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Festus Ebea was an internal affairs of the House which it said followed the due process.
The party was reacting to the press conference by the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, who said that the APC lawmakers do not have the required 2/3 to impeach the Ebea just as he alleged that the impeachment was done in Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s bed room.
Reacting, the state chairman of the APC, Mr Anslem Ojezua, asserted that “what Orbih is seeing now is the result of the mischief that he masterminded together with his associates. They succeeded in misleading their members to plan a botched coup and the consequences of that mischievous action is the removal of the Deputy Speaker.
The opposition ignorantly makes noise about the number of Assembly Members that can remove the Deputy Speaker from office by claiming that the House did not meet the 2/3 requirement to so remove Hon. Festus Ebea as Deputy Speaker.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the notice of impeachment of Hon. Festus Ebea was signed by 16 members of the House. This clearly was more than the 13 signatures required to impeach him. It must be borne in mind that with the suspension of 4 members, only 20 members are, for now, legitimately entitled to attend and participate in any legislative business of the House of Assembly.
“Two-thirds of 20 members cannot by any stretch of imagination be anything above 13.
We state for the records that impeachment of an officer is an internal affair of the State House of Assembly following its rules. In the instant case, the House has complied with its extant rules.
“We also find it laughable that the impeached Deputy Speaker, Hon Festus Ebea, said the sitting of the lawmakers was held in the Governor’s Office. We are embarrassed that the Deputy Speaker has no sense of history and is so ignorant as to know that the sittings of the House of Assembly used to hold in the Government House before the new complex at the Airport Road was erected.
“For the information of the impeached Deputy Speaker and that of the unsuspecting members of the public, the old chambers of the Edo State House of Assembly is within the precinct of the Government House and the Old Assembly building is still a property of the Assembly which is there for them to use whenever they feel the need to do so” it stated.
Ojezua further stated that “And the reason for the House going to sit in an alternative location was duly articulated in the motion read by the Majority leader, Philip Shaibu that the new Assembly chambers was undergoing renovation works. For Orbih to threaten that they are going to break into the chambers on Monday, even with the four suspended members tells you they want to perpetuate illegality.
“Again I want to remind you that the people of Edo state have been worried that they have not been getting the representation that they deserve because the House was held hostage by eight members against 16. The hostage situation has been deflated and Edo people are happy that the House is now sitting and they are doing their legislative works. So we are appealing to our friends in PDP to have respect for the judiciary by allowing the judicial process to play out” he stated.