The All Progressives Congress and Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State on Thursday traded words over the impeachment of the deputy speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Festus Ebea.
The PDP state chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, described the plenary held by the APC lawmakers at the Government House as abnormal, which was targeted at eroding the principles of separation of power.
He added that while two-third majority was needed to impeach an Assembly speaker or deputy speaker, only 15 lawmakers including the Assembly speaker, were present at the plenary where the deputy speaker was impeached.
Orbih, who said there were nine PDP members in the Edo Assembly, rather than 8, added that the party had the responsibility to defend its lawmakers in the House and the people of the state.
He said, “For some time now, we have noticed Governor Oshiomhole’s lust for power. Before now, we raised the alarm of how he wanted to bring the judiciary under his control. We want to say that he has achieved that goal and now wants to extend his total conquest to the legislative arm of government.”
The state APC, however, said the impeachment notice on the deputy speaker was signed by 16 members of the House.
In a statement by the chairman, Anselm Ojezua, on Thursday, the party stated that the State Assembly formed the required two-third majority out of the 20 lawmakers, since four of the members were under suspension.
Ojezua said, “The opposition ignorantly makes noise about the number of Assembly members that can remove the Deputy Speaker from office by claiming that the House did not meet the two-third requirement to so remove Hon. Festus Ebea as Deputy Speaker.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the notice of impeachment of Hon. Festus Ebea was signed by 16 members of the House. This clearly was more than the 13 signatures required to impeach him.
“It must be borne in mind that with the suspension of four members, only 20 members are, for now, legitimately entitled to attend and participate in any legislative business of the House of Assembly.”
The party said the impeachment of an officer was an internal affair of the State House of Assembly according to its rules and in the instant case, the House had complied with its extant rules.