By Adibe Emenyonu
The Edo State House of Assembly yesterday removed the Speaker, Mr. Francis Okiye.
The state assembly is made up of seven members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who decamped alongside with the governor from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to PDP, and three APC legislators.
Okiye represents Esan North-East state constituency in the state assembly.
Okiye was replaced by the lawmaker representing Esan West state Constituency, Mr. Marcus Onobun.
The removal of Okiye followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Henry Okhuarobo representing Ikpoba Okha state constituency.
Okhuarobo’s motion was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo 1 constituency in the assembly, Prince Yekini Idaiye.
The member representing Igueben State constituency, Mr. Ephraim Aluebhosele had earlier moved a motion to nominate the new speaker after Okhuarobo raised the issue of a petition against Okiye and was seconded by the member representing Akoko-Edo II constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Agbaje.
The Deputy Speaker of the assembly, Mr. Roland Asoro presided over the plenary shortly after the removal process.
Members of the assembly unanimously adopted the removal motion through a voice vote.
Trouble was said to have started shortly after the assembly resumed its plenary when Okiye asked the Clerk, Mr. Yahaya Omogbai to read the order of proceedings for the day to the hearing of members in order to begin the business of the day.
Okhuarobo was said to have quickly drawn the attention of former Okiye to a petition against him and reeled out the removal motion.
The lawmakers accused Okiye of financial impropriety.
They also suspended Okiye for three months and set up a committee headed by Okhuarobo to probe him and submit the report to the assembly.
The new speaker, Onobun upon his election, thanked the members for his emergence.
Onobun has also dissolved all the standing committees and relieved all the appointees of the house of their various appointments.
Onobun also constituted a three-man committee to look into financial records of the house under the leadership of the former speaker.
Speaking to journalists at the Government House in Benin City, Okhuarobo said “the members have compelling reasons to do what they did and that the house needed to wait till now because of political reasons and now the process is over. Irrespective of APC or PDP, we are united in the quest to move the state forward.”
THISDAY gathered that efforts by the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie and immediate past Speaker and Political Adviser to the Governor on Politics, Mr. Kabiru Adjoto to wade into the matter failed as the lawmakers had made up their minds to sack him.
Also, efforts to reach the Okiye yesterday for comment on his removal proved abortive.