The Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr. Adewale Omirin, said on Tuesday that Governor Ayodele Fayose had ordered thesealing off of his office.
This, the Speaker claimed, followed the action of seven PDP members of Ekiti State House of Assembly who illegally sat to attempt to change the leadership of the House, but only succeeded in approving the reconstitution of the local government caretaker committees and confirmation of the commissioner-nominees sent to the House of Assembly last week by Fayose.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Wole Olujobi,ý said the governor had earlier employed threats and coercion, including freezing the accounts of the Assembly, cutting off the electricity supply from the Speaker’s Lodge and stopping statutory votes for the Speaker’s upkeep and protocol to intimidate Omirin and have firm control of the House.
He added that on Tuesday, the governor announced the sacking of the Speaker’s aides, ýincluding that of the Deputy Speaker and Majority Leader.
Olujobi claimed that the Speaker’s official vehicles had been demobilised because their keys had been taken to the office of the governor, while his official drivers had been redeployed.
Efforts to get the state government reaction to this failed.
But Fayose had earlier denied involvement in the purported removal of the Speaker of the Ekiti House of Assembly.
The PDP lawmakers had cited the absence of the Speaker and his deputy, Taiwo Orisalade, as reasons for the appointment of the Acting Speaker for the Monday’s business.
Although, the PDP has seven, members in the Assembly, 10 persons attended the plenary on Monday including three whose identities remained unknown as of press time.
The APC on Tuesday maintained that only seven members of the Assembly including three ‘fake’ legislators sat at the plenary when it required nine members to form a quorum.
The party challenged the governor to name the 10 lawmakers that sat on Monday and to provide the video recording of the proceeding.
The situation is already generating heat in the state.
But Fayose’s Special Assistant on Information, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, on Tuesday said the government would not allow the situation to degenerate into a crisis in the state.
Addressing journalists in Ado-Ekiti, Ogunsuyi said the Speaker had yet to brief the governor on the incident.
Maintaining innocence of the governor, he said Fayose had once saved Omirin from impeachment.
He said, “We are waiting to see if the Speaker was removed or not. But we know the Assembly is empowered to appoint a Speaker extempore. What happened yesterday (Monday) was an affair of the Assembly. He (Fayose) has no hand in it. He is not a beneficiary of any of the action.
“When they need us they will come to us. Up till now the Speaker has not come to the governor.”
Ogunsuyi, however, said what happened at the Assembly with the approval of the three commissioner nominees was in the interest of the state.
He said the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice was needed to draft document for the state to access the N220bn Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises’ Development Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He added that the Commissioner for Works also needed to represent the state at a World Bank event.
Ogunsuyi said the government did not expect a smooth relationship with the Assembly because of party differences.
“We don’t expect the relationship to be very smooth because of the party differences. But honestly speaking, the Assembly is for the state. They have the right to reject a thing if it’s not in the interest of the state but they don’t have the right to reject a thing if it’s not in their party’s interest.
“Nobody should use the government platform to advance party’s interest.”
The governor’s aide also frowned on the branding of the Ekiti people that went to witness the Assembly’s sitting as thugs.
He said, “My people should not be addressed as thugs anytime they take interest in the activities of government. They are no thugs. They were the people that voted and are interested in the government. Some of these people have their business under threat while some have their shops locked by the former government.”
Ogunsuyi also justified the sacking of the aides of the Speaker by the government.
According to him, the last administration made a law that the governor will appoint aides for the principal officer and Local Government chairmen.
“What happened was that the Governor had to revalidate the appointments. It is left for the Speaker to put heads with the governor. If he is interested in retaining those people, the governor would appoint them for him.
“But he passed that law knowingly or unknowingly that the governor would appoint aides for him.”
The Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, who also attended the briefing, recalled that former Governor Kayode Fayemi did the same thing by sacking all the political appointees on assumption of office.