The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Justin Okonoboh, was Monday morning impeached by 19 members of the House.
Also impeached were the Deputy Speaker, Mrs. Elizabeth Ativie and the Majority Leader, Foly Ogedegbe.
Over the past two months, speculation had been rife that Okonoboh, who assumed office barely a year ago, might be impeached.
Okonoboh’s predecessor, Victor Edoror, was impeached under similar circumstances in June 2016.
The House had only reconvened after 26 days of break for oversight functions when the incident occurred.
It was gathered that on the resumption of plenary, Emmanuel Agbaje, read a letter of a vote of no confidence on the floor of the House.
The member representing Etsako West II, Sylvanus Eruaga, was said to have asked Okonoboh to vacate the exalted seat, a development that led to a fight among some of the lawmakers in the chambers.
Okonoboh was, however, said to have left the seat after much pressure, leaving Eruaga to sit as Speaker pro tempore.
Following the impeachment, Kabiru Adjoto, the member representing Akoko-Edo Constituency 1 was elected Speaker; Victor Edoror (Esan Central) Deputy Speaker, and Roland Asoro (Orhiomwhon ll), Majority Leader.
Addressing journalists in his office, Adjourns, the third Speaker of present Assembly, accused Okonoboh of shutting the House for six weeks when he travelled to the United States of America, “just because his son was graduating.”
He said they were elected to be a partner in Edo State project with the Governor of the state whom he described as a performing Governor, adding that 16 members have the constitutional to impeach the principal officers.
He said the impeached principal officers have been suspended for three months as well as Magnus Izehi-Igbas (PDP) representing Esan North East constituency ll.
“The impeached Speaker converted the House to his private estate. We are supposed to be a 24 members in the House, but he now co-opted his wife as the 25th member who was privileged to know all the operations before the members.
“He also awarded contracts to his personal self without recourse to the house standing rules and due process.
“Subsequently, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and they Majority Leader of the House remain suspended to enable us investigate their activities.
“Interestingly, we have a performing executive arm of the government. We want to legislate for the people to move the state forward,” Adjoto said.
Reacting to their impeachment and suspension, the embattled Majority Leader, Foly Ogedengbe, described the action as null, void and unconstitutional.
He said they were allegedly impeached by only 11 members in a violation of two third majority.
The House thereafter adjourned till Tuesday.