The move by the group of 19 All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers to initiate impeachment process against Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti took a new turn On Thursday as the opposition met in the premises of a secondary school In Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
Following the meeting, the members decided to write the State Chief Judge. Mr. Justice Ayodeji Daramola, asking him to set up a panel to investigate allegations contained in their initial notice to Governor Fayose.
An air of uncertainty had pervaded the state capital from the last weekend following news that the 19 lawmakers were due to return to the state to resume sitting at the House of Assembly.
However, in a move aimed to counter the planned commencement of impeachment proceedings, loyalists of the governor blocked all entry points into the state on Tuesday, while also mounting watch at the state Assembly complex.
In justifying their meeting at Mary Hills Boys High School, Ado-Ekiti on Thursday, the lawmakers said the group 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.
Wole Olujobi, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Speaker, 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 for the actions of Fayose’s loyalists that prevented them from doing so on Tuesday.
He confirmed that the group and it’s supporters were indeed waylaid by thugs who mounted roadblock and threatening their lives with dangerous weapons, thereby making them to abandon going to the Assembly.
Relying on Section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (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.
After debates, the lawmakers in a unanimous vote supported the motion directing the chief judge to set up the panel.
The House adjourned to the next legislative day.
However, Lere Olayinka, the governor’s Special Assistant, Public Communication insisted that no such meeting took place anywhere in Ado-Ekiti.
“At Mary Hills Boys High School, Ado-Ekiti, where Omirin and his APC lawmakers claimed that they sat, WAEC Exam took place today. Students wrote WAEC exams in the School Hall,” he said in a post on his Facebook Page.
“Let Omirin and his APC desperadoes tell us another lie. Only FIVE APC lawmakers are in Ekiti as I write and they are in the house of Otunba Niyi Adebayo at Iyin Ekiti. I can also confirm that there are rifts among the APC lawmakers. Dem don dey fight,” he added.
In what appears to be a sudden change in fortunes that favours the APC lawmakers, the estranged Speaker of the House, Dr. Adewale Omirin, had his security details restored, even amidst reports that the State Police Commissioner, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, who mounted a security surveillance around Ado Ekiti, ahead of the return of the 19 lawmakers has been redeployed.