Sam Nwaoko - Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State House of Assembly is currently embroiled in heated controversy over allegations and counter-allegations of plans to impeach the governor of the state, Mr Ayò Fayose.
A member of the assembly, Mr Dele Olugbemi, while addressing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, alleged that the All Progressives Party (APC) members of the assembly had plans to confront the governor with their demand for “constituency allowance that was approved by former Governor Kayode Fayemi after he lost the governorship election in June. ”
Olugbemi, who recently defected to the PDP, claimed that his former party, APC and Fayemi “did not pay the allowance for the four years he was governor, claiming lack of funds but only approved N10million per legislature for the 26 members of the assembly after he had lost the election.”
The lawmaker, representing Ikole Constituency 1, further alleged that “the plan is for the Assembly members to confront Fayose with the approval, knowing full well that there wouldn’t be the money to pay since the treasury had been cleaned up, and when Fayose refuses to pay, they would start trouble with him and his government.”
He claimed that the plots, “which are against the interest of the people of Ekiti State are among the reasons I said I’ve had enough and left the party for good.”
But the APC members in the Assembly denied that they had plans to impeach the governor, describing the claim as “spurious and unfounded.”
The APC caucus, which addressed newsmen on Thursday, also denied an allegation by the PDP in the state that it took about N800 million from a leader of the party in Lagos State to impeach Governor Fayose, stating that “APC doesn’t believe in sharing booty or public money for sinister motive.”
The 19 APC lawmakers , including the Speaker, his deputy, Adetunji Orisalade, the majority leader and others, spoke in turns, said whoever had “proof that they were bribed to oust Fayose should make it public, rather than peddling lies against us with the intention to smear their integrity.”
On the sealing off of his petrol station by the state government, the Speaker said his ownership of the business did not contravene the Code of Conduct Bureau’s regulation, contrary to what the PDP had made the public to believe.
The Speaker stated this in reaction to Olugbemi’s contention that he had abused his office as it was unlawful for “the number three citizen to claim to be building petrol stations while still in office.”
Olugbemi had hinted that the Code of Conduct Bureau would investigate the Speaker and possibly prosecute him for abuse of office.
The PDP Lawmaker said: “They cannot deny the fact that they were planning to impeach Governor Fayose. They wanted to use the N10 million signed for us by Governor Kayode Fayemi , which is now pending before the Accountant General of the State as constituency allowance, as a bait.
“The former governor signed it for us towards the tail end of his tenure and their belief was that they would use it as part of the conditions to be fulfilled before they can cooperate with Fayose.” he said.
But the speaker urged the governor to drop the toga of pride and establish a synergy with the House to engender radical development of the State under his administration.
The Speaker said: “We are in a season of lies in Ekiti and it will be in our best interest to tread softly, because I don’t think we need this. How to make Ekiti better should be Fayose’s priority not to cause division or portray some citizens as desperate and irresponsible.
“The former President W’ Bush, a Republican ruled for eight years in the United States under a Congress dominated by Democrats. And the kind of composition we are having here is what is happening in Nasarawa and Imo States and they are not being put in the news for wrong reasons as we have in Ekiti.”
Lending credence to Omirin’s position , Hon Adedipe said the lawmakers never contemplated impeachment against Fayose, saying the 18 members of the party only traveled to Lagos for consultation on the forthcoming presidential primaries in Abuja.
Adedipe said : “The onus of proof is on the PDP to convince the world that we were bribed to the tune of N800 million by one of our leaders to impeach Fayose.
“The Governor has not even committed any offence to warrant such. I know before anybody can be impeached as a governor, he must have committed certain offences.
“So, we advise Governor Fayose to work with us and stop taking advice from political jobbers or lay-abouts , who are stoking the fire of violence. Whatever may be his vision in the areas of education, economy and others, we are ready to partner him as long as it is in public interest.”
The Deputy Speaker, who lent his voice to the myriad of complains brought to the fore by the legislators, added that the rumour milling rounds that the lawmakers were allegedly using the constituency allowance as a bargaining chips , was untrue and baseless.
Exonerating himself of ever attending any meeting in Lagos, where issue of impeachment was discussed , Orisalade flaunted a letter dated October 13, 2014 and addressed to the Speaker, where he took permission to travel abroad for undisclosed reason.
“They said I was present at Lagos meeting, I travelled at that time and this further shows that the PDP was only concocting lies against us. How can somebody who was in London the day my members visited to be part of a meeting held in Nigeria?,” he queried.