Aribisogan's Impeachment, display of rascality, impunity, Say Ekiti Senior Lawyers - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Aribisogan's Impeachment, display of rascality, impunity, Say Ekiti Senior Lawyers

Senior Advocates of Nigeria of Ekiti State origin, led by Chief Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun and five others, have described the impeachment of the embattled Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan as crass exhibition of brute force and illegality.

The  legal Icons expressed concern over the inaction of Governor Biodun Oyebanji while the lawmakers were brazenly displaying legislative rascality with reckless abandon.

They urged Oyebanji to watch his back, saying keeping mute to this allegedly "reckless" abuse of power could boomerang and embolden the lawmakers to go after him in the future.  

The lawyers warned those he described as godfathers in Ekiti politics to be wary of their actions and stop perpetrating acts that could ignite crisis or trigger instability in the state.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed and conveying their reaction to the  removal of Aribisogan from office and subsequent election of Hon Bunmi Adelugba as a replacement by 17 members of the assembly.

Signatories to the statement were;  Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Dele Adesina, SAN, Olu Daramola, SAN, Femi Falana, SAN, Dayo Akinlaja,  SAN and  Gboyega Oyewole, SAN.

The Senior Lawyers bemoaned the speedy way at which the lawmakers allegedly prodded by some godfathers, had moved against Aribisogan under flimsy excuses and unleashed their venom on him.

They averred that the 1999 Constitution as amended stipulated that the embattled Aribisogan ought to be given a fair hearing to defend any infraction he had allegedly committed to warrant impeachment, lamenting that this window was not provided or  given a scintilla of consideration.
They said: "To say the very least, the situation in the Ekiti State House of Assembly should be of extremely grave concern to every decent and discerning mind.

Before going further, it is pertinent to underscore the prime importance of the State House of Assembly in the affairs of any State in the country. 

"By virtue of Section 92 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), once elected by the members of the House, as done in the case of Aribisogan, the Speaker shall continue to be in office during the lifespan of the particular House except, inter alia, removed from office by a resolution of the House of Assembly by the votes of not less than two-third majority of the House. 

"From the short background above, it is plain as day that the elected Speaker was not allowed to function in office for the spate of one day before the sealing off of the Complex. Pray, therefore, at what point in time could he have committed any infraction of the constitution, any other law or the Rules of the House to warrant his supposed removal? 

"Assuming, and without conceding that the Speaker had committed any infraction, was he not entitled to be confronted with the allegation in that respect and given reasonable opportunity to defend himself? If so, when was he accorded that? Incontestably, election into such an exalted position as the Speaker of the House dictates that a holder of the office must be accorded fair hearing before being removed from the office". 

They stated that the  alleged suspension and stoppage of the salaries of the Speaker and six other members of the House are no less "misplaced, illegal, illegitimate, null and void". 

"If care is not taken, and if all of us seal our lips, fold our arms and get relaxed on our seats and allow this rascality and impunity to go unchecked, in no distant future, the Governor of the State would be impeached and forced out of office in like manner".

They added further; "By their actions, they have demonstrated a penchant for political rascality, impunity, brazenness and recklessness of no mean measure.

" Let it be mentioned and registered, posthaste, without any modicum of equivocation, that the purported impeachment of Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan as well as the announced suspension of seven members of the House is an exercise in utmost futility and, unquestionably, null and void".

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