- As Prince Erediauwa quits Oshiomhole’s govt, joins PDP
As the crisis rocking the Edo assembly rages on, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Wednesday condemned the impeachment notice on the suspended Deputy Speaker of Edo house of assembly Mr. Festus Ebea, describing it as a nullity and something that will not stand the test of time.
This came just as Prince Osama Erediauwa, son of the Benin Monarch resigned his appointment as Executive Director, Governor’s office and Captain Rasaki Eke (rtd), Special Assistant, Inter-party Affairs, office of the governor.
Speaking, both appointees said they resigned their position to join PDP because they decided to embrace change and selfless sacrifice which the party epitomized.
Disclosing the party’s position at a press briefing, Chief Orbih said the impeachment of the deputy speaker constitutionally require 2/3 members of the lawmakers.
Chief Orbih noted that the impeachment, going by the constitution, required 16 out of the 24-member assembly to endorse any such action.
He said: “But yesterday [Wednesday], you had 15 members’ present and 14 members who actually voted in the impeachment notice because the Speaker cannot vote except where there is a tie.”
Besides, the Edo PDP boss described the venue of the impeachment as illegal since the sitting took place at the office of Governor Adams Oshiomhole at Government House and not the officially designated sitting venue of the lawmakers.
“The event was a travesty of plenary. Watching the news yesterday, I saw it as a mockery because one of the features of democracy is separation of powers. So for the APC lawmakers to have plenary at Government House is seen is an erosion of confidence.
“In fact, wherever the meeting took place, those who went there have no business going there to conduct the affairs of Edo Assembly. For us in PDP, they went there to conduct their party meeting and not the affairs of Edo people,” he said.
The PDP chairman called on the people of Edo State to ignore what he termed “the unconstitutional movement of Edo Assembly deliberation to Government House,” just as he told the nine PDP lawmakers not to relent and continue to discharge their duties to the people of their respective constituency and Edo State in general at the official designated sitting venue of the assembly situated at the Kings Square, Ring Road, Benin City.
On the allegation that 16 members signed the impeachment notice which bore the signature of one of the lawmakers, Mr. Abdulrazaq Momoh who was seated in their midst, Orbih insisted the purported signature was forged, saying that all those behind the forgery would be brought to book.
Also speaking, Momoh representing Etsako West I, who was also among the four APC decampees to PDP, alleged that since May 9, 2014 when he formally resigned from APC, he has never had any interaction with members of the party, not to talk of appending his signature to any document.
According to him: “The Majority Leader currently facing charges of forgery before the EFCC is behind the superimposition of my signature. Just as they forged tax clearance certificate that have landed them in court, so they decided to do this one, thinking they will succeed.”
He therefore threatened to petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ask him to unravel those behind the forgery.
But in his reaction, Majority leader, Edo State House of Assembly, Phillip Shaibu said if Momoh believes his signature was forged, he should go to court to prove his case, adding “no one signed for anyone. All the signatories were duly signed by those whose names appeared in the document”.
Shaibu also noted that the issue of Speaker signing was immaterial because he signed as a member of the House which he is part of, stressing “even if you say 2/3 of 24 which is 16 and that the Speaker should not be part of that figure, then it means that 2/3 of 23 should be 15.
According to him, the deputy speaker was impeached because he led a band of lawmakers who went to destroy public property at the assembly.
“He led four other lawmakers to destroy the entrance of the hallow chambers of the assembly which he is part of.”