Edo Assembly moves to impeach Deputy Governor

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Ighodalo
  • Shaibu accused of perjury, revealing government secrets
  • Oshiomhole denies involvement in impeachment plot
  • We’re waiting for Shaibu in court – PDP

The feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, has degenerated beyond settlement, as the Edo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, commenced impeachment proceedings against Shaibu.

The Majority leader of the Assembly, Charity Aiguobarueghian, who announced the impeachment notice during the sitting of the House, said the petition dated March 5, was signed by 21 out of the 24 members against the deputy governor.

He explained that the number of members who signed the petition were more than the two-third requirement stipulated in the constitution.

He also announced that the petition was based on two grounds of perjury and revealing of government secrets.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, who acknowledged receipt of the petition, directed the clerk of the House, Yahaya Omogbai, to serve the impeachment notice on the deputy governor.

Agbebaku also gave the deputy governor seven days to respond to the notice of impeachment.

Meanwhile, a former governor of the state and Senator representing Edo North, Adams Oshiomhole, has denied involvement in the impeachment plot.

He made the denial in a statement issued by his Senior Legislative Aide, Victor Oshioke, in reaction to an article in the social media which claimed that governor Godwin Obaseki had reached Oshiomhole to get his support for the impeachment of the deputy governor.

“Our attention has been drawn to an article circulating on social media regarding a purported plan by the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki to call on lawmakers of Edo State House of Assembly to begin impeachment proceedings against his deputy Hon. Philip Shaibu. Ordinarily, we would neither be concerned nor bothered by what methods the characters in the unending feud within the Edo State PDP employ to settle scores among themselves.

“However, we are compelled to clarify and set the record straight because in the said article, it was falsely claimed, and I quote “Our reporter also gathered that the governor have (sic) already gotten across to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to help him lobby and talk to the APC lawmakers in the House to support the impeachment move against Comrade Philip Shaibu since he and the deputy governor are not in good terms with the Edo North Senator.”

“We wish to categorically state that Senator Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole has not, at any time, engaged in discussions with Governor Godwin Obaseki regarding plans to impeach his deputy. Let it be put on record that Senator Oshiomhole, as the apex leader of the APC in Edo State, is solely focused on fostering goodwill between the people of Edo State and the APC, with the goal of winning the upcoming governorship election and returning the state to a path of progress under an APC government. Also, it is important to state that matters of impeachment are the sole responsibilities of the Edo State House of Assembly and the Edo State Judiciary.

“Political parties have no constitutional role to play in any impeachment process. Therefore, the notion that Senator Adams Oshiomhole can influence the actions of APC lawmakers, should there be any impeachment exercise in the Edo State House of Assembly is simply preposterous. Senator Oshiomhole has not and will not engage in any deals with Governor Obaseki on this or any other political issue.

“Lastly, we urge all Edo people to approach articles of this nature with skepticism if the authors fail to take credit for their allegations. As we begin the process leading to the September 2024 governorship election in our beloved state, let us all strive for truthful and responsible discourse in our political environment,” the statement said.

Last August, Obaseki accused Shaibu of being so desperate to succeed him that he could do anything to remove him (Obaseki) from office.

Obaseki who spoke while addressing stakeholders in a video posted by AIT, said that Shaibu allegedly conspired with seven members of the All Progressives Congress in the state House of Assembly to enthrone another Speaker in the House against his preferred choice.

He asked how Shaibu could be so desperate to succeed him ahead of the Edo governorship election in 2024, without even telling him that he was interested in succeeding him.

He said, “The constitution makes me the governor of Edo State and I know the powers of a governor. The constitution does not provide for a co-governor. Does it? It provides a deputy governor who carries out responsibilities the governor gives to him; it does not give him the power of the governor.

“Before now, he has been going around saying he is consulting because after the national assembly elections we met, we had a small meeting and I said ‘Look I know the next major election will be the governorship election, how to choose the person who will succeed me but it is too early. The things we do now and how we finish well will determine how strong we are to sell the person who will take over. But more importantly, we must solidify our party (Peoples Democratic Party) because PDP must by the Grace of God produce the next governor.’”

Shaibu was elected in a parallel primary election of the People’s Democratic Party conducted in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Meanwhile, the preferred choice of Governor Obaseki, Asue Ighodalo was announced winner of another PDP primary election that took place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in the capital city.

The PDP during the week said its legal team was waiting for Shaibu in court over the party’s primary election dispute in the state.

This was stated by the PDP’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi.

According to him, the party was not deterred by the deputy governor’s threat to seek redress in court to declare him the authentic PDP candidate ahead of the state’s governorship election in September.

Last week, Shaibu invaded the party’s national offices, demanding recognition as the party’s legitimate governorship candidate.

The deputy governor also expressed concern that he was under threat of impeachment for persisting in doing the right thing in the state’s chapter of the PDP.

In January, Shaibu said he was betrayed by Governor Obaseki despite contributing “both in naira and in dollars” to get the ticket given to him (Obaseki) by the PDP.

Shaibu, who disclosed this while featuring on a live television programme, regretted that Governor Obaseki refused to back his candidature in the upcoming 2024 governorship election.

He said he brought value to his principal’s government in terms of political structure and his finances, but instead of supporting him to take over from him, he was supporting an outsider.

Decrying that he has been betrayed, Shaibu said, “I feel betrayed by the governor. I feel very betrayed. When we go to church, there are certain biblical verses that are beginning to make sense to me. There is this particular verse that has been going through my mind: ‘The heart of man is desperately wicked.’ When I see what the governor is doing, the verse now makes sense to me.

“I added value in terms of my political structure, my finances. All the vehicles that were used to campaign in 2016 are mine. I lost about 20% of my political capital in Edo North to support Godwin Obaseki, and in supporting him even as deputy governor.

“I supported the second term bid of the governor with my finances. Including how we got the ticket of the PDP, I contributed financially, both in naira and in dollars. If I say betrayal, it’s an understatement. I feel very hurt and betrayed.”

At a point, efforts were made for the two to reconcile after Shaibu tendered a public apology to the governor, following intervention of prominent personalities.

But the deputy governor stuck to his ambition to contest for the governorship position and he was ejected from the Government House and his office relocated outside the seat of Government at Osadebey Avenue in Benin City.