Nigeria News
Ekiti Assembly Crisis: APC Lawmakers Go into Hiding

Strong indications emerged in Ekiti State on Tuesday that the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers in the state House of Assembly have gone into hiding, having departed the state for an unknown destination following the crisis that hit the assembly during the controversial sitting held by 10 lawmakers on Monday.

It was also gathered that the 10 lawmakers who appointed Hon. Dele Olugbemi as speaker protempore on Monday did not hold any session despite their adjournment to resume plenary on Tuesday.

This is coming as the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose, clarified that he had not taken any steps that could denigrate the legislative and the judicial arms of government since assumption of office on October 16, contrary to APC’s allegation.

Fayose urged the embattled speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Adewale Omirin, to stop misdirecting himself over his woes, urging him to look inwards in order to resolve the crisis rather than blaming him (Fayose) for the frosty relationship between the state executive and the APC lawmakers.

The Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker, Mr. Wole Olujobi, confirmed to THISDAY in Ado Ekiti in a phone conversation that the lawmakers would not return to the state owing to fear of possible attacks by suspected party thugs.

“They have gone out of the state because their lives are in danger. You can see that nobody can move about for fear of being attacked. I don’t know the speaker’s whereabouts, even as I am talking to you.  We can’t move out freely because Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs are on our trail and we have to be careful,” he said.

Olujobi, in a statement, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to save him from being killed by suspected thugs over the state assembly crisis, saying: “Some strange faces have been trailing me since this issue started.”

In another statement by APC’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Hon. Taiwo Olatunbosun, the party urged Fayose to publish the names of the ten lawmakers who attended the Monday’s plenary to clear the controversy over whether only seven actually showed up with three mercenaries allegedly brought by the state government.

However, reacting to the allegation that he was trying to muzzle the judicial and legislative arms as alleged by 17 APC lawmakers, Fayose said he enjoys a smooth working relationship with the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola.

The governor, who responded through his Special Assistant on Information, Mr Lanre Ogunsuyi, said the APC lawmakers only displayed ignorance by linking him with the appointment of a speaker protempore to conduct the affairs of the assembly during Monday’s sitting.

Ogunsuyi said the mere fact that only 17 members attended the press conference addressed by the APC lawmakers on Monday, confirmed that the House formed a quorum during the controversial sitting. He said: “The speaker was not in any way removed as being rumoured. Members of the House of Assembly and even the National Assembly used to have causes to change their leadership. It is not a new thing in our political history.

“In Edo State, APC lawmakers hold their sittings in the Government House, while the PDP holds separate sittings. Even in Rivers State, the judiciary and the assembly have been experiencing similar problems.

“We are not justifying the situation, but Fayose cannot be blamed for the self-inflicted injuries Omirin brought onto himself.”

On the allegation raised by the speaker that the governor had sacked his personal aides, Fayose said: “It was the same assembly that passed the law that empowers the governor to fire and hire aides for the speaker and his deputy. So what I did was within the ambit of the law.

Meanwhile, members of the APC in the state House of Assembly have described the short administration of Fayose of the state as a reign of terror and impunity.

The APC lawmakers, in an open letter to the governor, dated November 18, through their lawyer, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, told the governor to respect the doctrine of separation of powers.

The lawmakers in the letter accused the governor of encouraging brigandage and hooliganism.

Abayomi said: “We are further told that you encourage brigandage and hooliganism everywhere, preferring government of the unruly and the violent. Further more, you encourage your loyalists in the assembly to disrespect the its leadership, and its rules. You encourage minority members to sit regularly in total violation of the standing Order of the assembly and the constitution and under the protection and your own controled security and unconstitutional use of arms, worse than the history of the past in our land.

Meanwhile, the crisis in the assembly has assumed a dangerous dimension as Fayose yesterday allegedly  ordered  the sealing off of the office of the Speaker, Omirin.

Omirin, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi, alleged that the governor had earlier  “employed threats and coercion, including freezing the accounts of the assembly, cutting of electricity supply from the Speaker’s lodge and stopping statutory votes for the Speaker’s upkeep and protocol to intimidate him in his bid to take firm control of the assembly.”

Refuting the allegation, Fayose had through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, said: “It is another  falsehood  coming from a confused speaker. We all know that the governor could not have ordered that the speaker’s office be sealed off because the existence of Adewale Omirin is insignificant to us and to the people of the state having lost his  honour.

“Besides that, Omirin’s driver is under the assembly’s service commission which could employ, promote, transfer or sack driver and other  staff of the legislature. What does the happenings in the legislature or operations at  the assembly by the commission got  to do with Governor Fayose.

“Omirin is totally confused and Ekiti people are fed up with his lies. His cries now is a ranting of an ant, and  he should be ignored totally.”

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