The crisis in Ekiti State took another turn on Thursday when the Peoples Democratic Party’s lawmakers in the state House of Assembly on impeached the Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin.
This was despite the claim of Minority Leader, Mr. Samuel Ajibola, who is now the Leader of Government Business, on Wednesday that Omirin remained the Speaker and that there was no plan to impeach him.
Dele Olugbemi, who had acted as Protem Speaker during Monday's controversial plenary, was elected as the new Speaker.
The lawmakers also replaced the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Tunji Orisalade, with Mrs. Abeni Olayinka, who recently defected from the All Progressives Congress to the PDP.
At about 8am, some youths, led by one Bello Ganiyu-Akande, launched a protest at the Assembly, calling for Omirin’s removal on account of his hostility towards Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Ganiyu-Akande described the APC lawmakers as enemies of the state.
Omirin, however, has insisted that he remains the Speaker because the PDP lawmakers did not meet the two-third majority required to impeach him as stipulated by the constitution.
He described his purported removal as “the greatest joke of the year.”
Only 10 people sat at the chambers of the Ekiti Assembly on Thursday to conduct the plenary. The 10 included the three whose identities still remain hidden.
However, only seven PDP legislators appeared in the Speaker’s office for the prayer session after the Assembly’s work for the day.
Journalists were barred from covering the session but a selected few were later allowed in after Olugbemi had taken charge in the chambers.
During Thursday’s sitting that lasted for about 45 minutes, the lawmakers repealed the Ekiti State Peace Corps established by ex-Governor Kayode Fayemi, describing the body as a burden to the finances of the state.
They also amended the Ekiti State logo and reverted the Ekiti’s slogan to ‘Fountain of Knowledge,’ which was changed to “Land of Honour” by Fayemi.
Immediately after the plenary, the three lawmakers whose identities still remain unknown disappeared from the chambers. They did not accompany others to the Speaker’s office, which was previously locked.
In his maiden press conference, Olugbemi, who promised to foster harmonious working relationship between the executive and legislative arms, said the change in leadership was due to “emerging reality.”
Olugbemi said that he would continue to accord the ousted Speaker and his deputy the deserved respect and also draw from their wealth of experience.