The 19 All Progressives Congress lawmakers in the Ekiti State House of Assembly have begun moves that may lead to impeachment proceedings against Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The embattled Speaker, Dr Adewale Omirin, has forwarded a notice of gross misconduct to the governor, which sources within the APC said was served on him during the week.
A copy of the notice was also sent to his deputy, Dr. Olusola Eleka.
But Fayose has advised the APC lawmakers to stop acting like “jesters”, describing the purported impeachment notice as the “joke of the century.”
According to him, the script being acted by the APC is a failed one because no one, no matter how highly placed, will be allowed to test the will of the Ekiti people.
This is as the factional Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Dele Olugbemi, dismissed the purported notice of impeachment and accused Omirin of forgery, impersonation and attempt to cause breach of public peace.
In the letter by the 19 lawmakers titled, “Re: Notice of Allegations of Gross Misconduct,” sent to Fayose, the APC lawmakers listed eight impeachable offences against the governor. These offences bordered on impunity, brigandage, stalking and other constitutional breaches.
These included alleged invasion of the House of Assembly with thugs and miscreants, instigating an unconstitutional takeover of the House by seven legislators to sit in contravention of Section 96(2) of the 1999 Constitution, and prevention of the 19 APC legislators from performing their duties with the use of security agents and armed thugs.
Other allegations listed in the notice are: sponsoring an unlawful impeachment process in the house, spending Ekiti State funds without the requisite constitutional approval in contravention of the constitution and running the government without legally constituted Executive Council in contravention of Section 192(2) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They also accused the governor of operating an illegal 2014 budget as well as sponsoring and instigating illegal sitting of the House in contravention of Section 96(1) of the Constitution.
It could, however, not be confirmed when and how the notice was served on the governor.
When contacted by our correspondent on Saturday, Omirin was silent on how the notice was served on the governor.
“I don’t want to talk about it now. But he (the governor) has been served,” he said.
Asked how he was served, Omirin replied, “Just know we have served him. That is the most important thing.”
Fayose was given seven days to respond to the allegations.
Reacting to the allegations, the governor in a statement issued on Saturday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said Omirin had since ceased to be the Speaker, so cannot commence any impeachment moves against him.
“The script being acted by the APC is a failed one because no one, no matter how highly placed will be allowed to test the will of Ekiti people.
“The Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly is Dele Olugbemi and not Dr. Adewale Omirin.
“Omirin is already in court, challenging his impeachment and common sense dictates that when you are challenging an action already taken in court, you have accepted the consequences of such action pending the determination of the suit you filed.”
Speaking on the development, the Acting state Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Joseph Adaraniwon, said the lawmakers should not be taken seriously because they had for long abandoned their responsibility.
He also advised them not to get carried away by the victory of the APC candidate in the Presidential election, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)
But the State Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, said it would be wrong to ascribe the move to the emergence of Buhari because the lawmakers were elected representatives of the people.
“They have their constitutional roles to play. Their term has yet to come to an end, so it will be politically mischievous and morally indecent to say it is because of Buhari’s emergence.”
In petitions to the State Commissioner of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, and Director of the Department of State Service, Samuel Tamuno, the factional leader, Olugbemi, asked them to prosecute Omirin, for forgery, impersonation and attempt to cause breach of public peace.
Olugbemi described the notice of impeachment as a ploy by the APC to distract the state government.