The Edo State House of Assembly crisis deepened, yesterday, with reports that 12 lawmakers loyal to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, are plotting to impeach Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Oshiomhole reportedly told some of his loyalists that Obasseki’s removal “is now or never.”
But Oshiomhole, has described the report of his collaboration with the 12 Assembly lawmakers as a figment of the writer’s imagination, begging that he should be left out of the controversy.
He spoke through his Special Adviser, Media, Simon Ibegbulam, yesterday. He described the report of his involvement in the alleged plan to impeach the governor as tissue of lies and added that he won’t dissipate energy reacting to such.
“Nothing concerns Oshiomhole with such plan and they should leave him out of it.
“The report of such plan is a figment of their imagination. We don’t have time to react to such report,” he said.
Regardless, Oshiomhole is reportedly using a multi-pronged approach to ensure Obaseki’s removal if the governor stays in office till next year when the Edo governorship election will hold.
A source said so far, the anti-graft agencies – the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) – have gone through the financial records of the state government “and they are yet to find anything indicting.”
From the home front, the 12 state lawmakers loyal to Oshiomhole have moved to Abuja, citing security reasons.
“The lawmakers are heavily guarded in Abuja,” said another source.
Last Sunday, they signed a letter of intent to commence impeachment proceedings against Obaseki.
The letter was signed by Edoror Victor Sabor, Saed Aliyu Oshiomhole, Ojiezelu Osezua Sunday, Vincent Osas Uwadiae, Osifo Osa Washington, Sunday Aghedo, Okaeben Ewere Christopher, Crosby Eribo, Okunbor Nosayaba and Ugiagbe Onaiwu Dumez.
The lawmakers were lodged at the Penthouse Suite of Wells Carlton Hotel in the Federal Capital Territory.
The plot was that the National Assembly would have pronounced Edo Assembly unsuitably constituted, so that the 12 remaining members would be sworn in in Abuja, and thereafter, impeachment plans implemented.
Unfortunately, the National Assembly only established a committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the impasse in Edo state, leading the legislators-in-waiting and their sympathisers to suspend impeachment plans temporarily.
During a July 1 meeting at the residence of an Edo APC member of the House of Representatives, in Abuja, it was resolved that Edo members-elect from Edo South senatorial district would be specially rewarded as leaders of the impeachment drive.
On June 18, the Assembly was inaugurated with nine members. Edo Assembly has 24 members.
The Clerk, Alhaji Audu Omogbai, ushered the members-elect into the chamber and read out the governor’s proclamation.
Thereafter, the Clerk proclaimed the House and the members-elect began the process of electing the House leadership, with Frank Okiye of Esan North East Constituency I elected as speaker, while Yekini Idiaye, of Akoko Edo Constituency I was elected deputy speaker.