Impeached Edo Deputy Speaker Yekini Idaiye was removed by seven pro-Governor Godwin Obaseki in Government House, Benin for allegedly endorsing All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, The Nation has learned.
But the seven lawmakers led by Speaker Francis Okiye claimed Idaiye, who represents Akoko-Edo constituency I, was removed on grounds of gross misconduct and divulging of official secrets.
The Nation gathered the pro-Obaseki lawmakers had been sitting inside Government House for over a month, claiming the Assembly Complex at Ring Road, Benin was being fumigated over COVID-19 scare.
The relocation to the Government House, it was learned, was to monitor the pro-Obaseki lawmakers and ensure they remain true to the Governor’s causes.
Seventeen of the 24 members of the Edo Assembly, it was also gathered, are now backing Ize-Iyamu from the initial 14.
The Deputy Speaker and four other lawmakers on Monday visited Ize-Iyamu at his private residence in Benin and pledged to support his election.
Idiaye was joined by Emmanuel Agbaje (Akoko-Edo constituency II); Nosayaba Okunbor (Orhiomwon East constituency); Dumez Ugiagbe (member-elect, Ovia Northeast constituency I) and Vincent Uwadiae (member-elect, Ovia Northeast constituency II).
They maintained they will not leave APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Obaseki.
Idiaye said at the visit: “There is no reason for me to defect to another political party because there is no single project in my village to show under this present administration.
“I am from Somorika in Akoko Edo Local government Area and my village is the most backward in Akoko Edo LGA.”
The Nation’s investigation revealed Idiaye’s action was considered an affront by Pro-Obaseki lawmakers who moved against him immediately.
The motion for his removal was moved by Henry Okhuarobo and seconded by Marcus Onobun.
Okhuarobo said during the sitting: “Mr. Speaker, with me, is a notice of impeachment of the Deputy Speaker of the House, signed by two-third members of the House (made up of seven members, including the Speaker).
“The impeachment of the Deputy Speaker is on the grounds of gross misconduct and divulging of official secrets.”
The seven lawmakers, following deliberations on the motion, unanimously adopted it through a voice vote.
The Speaker pronounced Idaiye removed and named Roland Asoro as his replacement.
The motion for the nomination of Asoro as the new Deputy Speaker was moved by Emmanuel Okoduwa and seconded by Ephraim Aluebhosele.
The former Chief Whip Henry Okhuarobo was elevated to Leader of the House while Deputy Leader, Marcus Onobun, was made the Chief Whip and Sunny Ojiezele became the Deputy Leader.
Ephraim Aluebhosele was elevated to the position of Deputy Whip while Emmanuel Okoduwa was made a co-opted member of the principal officers’ council.
When contacted by The Nation, Idaiye declined to react to his removal.