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Ekiti assembly crisis: Ex-speaker asks court to declare his impeachment illegal

Ekiti assembly crisis: Ex-speaker asks court to declare his impeachment illegal
November 30
22:35 2022

Gboyega Aribisogan, a former speaker of the Ekiti state house of assembly, has asked a court to declare his impeachment as “unconstitutional and illegal”.

Aribisogan, in a suit filed before a high court sitting in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, listed the Ekiti house of assembly, the clerk, and Olubunmi Adelugba, the current speaker, as first, second, and third defendants, respectively.

On November 21, Aribisogan was removed from his position and suspended indefinitely after spending six days in office.

Hours after he was sworn in, the police laid siege to the assembly complex over claims that some persons were planning to attack the lawmakers.

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Arigbosan had, however, described the alleged threat to attack the assembly as “make-belief”, and accused Kayode Fayemi, the immediate past governor of the state, of colluding with seven lawmakers to impeach him.

But Ahmad Sajoh, an aide to Fayemi, had said his principal had no hand in the crisis at the Ekiti assembly.

Aribisogan was later replaced with Adelugba, lawmaker representing Emure constituency, who had lost to Aribisogan during the previous contest for speaker of the house.

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Recently, seven senior advocates of Nigeria (SAN), including Femi Falana, Afe Babalola,  and Wole Olanipekun, condemned the impeachment of Aribisogan.

In the court document seen by TheCable, among other reliefs, the impeached speaker is asking the court to reinstate him as speaker and dismiss his suspension.

“A declaration that the purported plenary sitting of 7 members of the 1st Defendant on the 21st day of November 2022 was illegal, null and void,” the document reads.

“A declaration that by the provisions of Order V Rule 18 (1); Order II Rule 9 of the House Rules; Sections 92 (2)(c) and 109 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the purported impeachment of the claimant as the speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly by 7 members at their purported plenary sitting without following the due process of law is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

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“A declaration that the alleged election of the 3rd Defendant as the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly at the purported plenary sitting of the 21st day of November 2022 is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that the 3rd defendant ought to be ordered to account for and refund to the coffers of Ekiti State Government all the salaries, emoluments, allowances and or whatever monetary benefits appurtenant to the office of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly during the tenure of her purported election as the speaker.

“A declaration that by the provision of Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), inter alia, the purported suspension of the claimant at the purported plenary sitting of by the 7 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly on the said 21st day of November 2022 is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

“A declaration that on the footing of her brazen violation of and or blatant disregard for the aforementioned relevant constitutional and statutory provisions, the 3rd Defendant henceforth deserves to be restrained from vying for, holding or continuing to hold any State or national elective position and or whatever public office in Nigeria.

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“An order of the honourable court reinstating the claimant as the speaker of the 2nd defendant (Ekiti State House of Assembly), forthwith.

“An order of court rescinding the purported suspension of the Claimant as Honourable member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

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“An order directing the 2nd Defendant to ensure immediate payment of the salaries, emoluments, allowances and all entitlements due to the claimant as the Speaker of the 1st Defendant from 21st day of November 2022 till the date of final judgment in this suit or the termination of the 6th Assembly of the 1st Defendant.

“An order compelling the 3rd defendant to forthwith account for and refund to the coffers of Ekiti State Government all the salaries, emoluments, allowances and or whatever monetary benefits appurtenant to the office of the speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly during her purported tenure of her as the speaker.”

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