EDO CRISIS: Shaibu out, Omobayo in

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Shaibu
  •  Why we impeached deputy governor – Edo Assembly
  • CJ swears in new second-in-command
  •  My impeachment illegal, says Shaibu

The protracted crisis between the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and his erstwhile ally, Philip Shaibu, ended on a sad note on Monday as the Edo State House of Assembly impeached Shaibu as the deputy governor of the state.

Shaibu had since fallen out with Obaseki.

The impeachment followed the adoption of the report of a seven-member investigative panel.

The panel was set up by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Daniel Okungbowa and was headed by S. A. Omonuwa, a retired justice.

Shaibu was accused of “misconduct, perjury and disclosure of government secrets”.

The commencement of the panel’s sitting followed the resolution by the State House of Assembly on initiating impeachment processes against Shaibu.

At the panel’s inaugural sitting on April 3, the House of Assembly was represented by Joe Ohiafi, deputy clerk, legal.

Shaibu was represented by Oladoyin Awoyale, a professor and senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

In July, Shaibu approached a federal high court in Abuja with a suit to prevent the impeachment plot against him.

He asked the court to restrain Obaseki, the speaker of the state assembly, and the chief judge, from “initiating impeachment proceedings or sanctioning any impeachment” against him.

Thereafter, the court restrained Obaseki, the speaker, and other defendants in the suit from initiating impeachment proceedings against Shaibu.

CJ swears in Omobayo as new second-in-command

Consequently, the newly appointed Deputy Governor of Edo State, Marvellous Omobayo, was sworn in on Monday by the Chief Judge, Daniel Okungbowa.

The new deputy governor is an engineer with a track record of progressive professional experience in the oil and gas sector.

In his inaugural speech, Omobayo thanked his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, for finding him worthy of the appointment.

He said, “The oath of office l have just taken is my legal acceptance speech. It defines the legal limits that l can or cannot exceed while in office. Beyond this legal ceremony, it is imperative that l publicly express my profound gratitude to our respected Executive Governor, His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the leadership of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party.

“After all the very painful and thought-provoking distractions of the past few months, our governor is determined to finish his second term very strongly. From his dialogue with me, it is clear that he is very determined to bequeath a legacy of peace, unity, progress and visible development to Edo State. A legacy that the next PDP regime will find exciting to proudly build upon and maintain the leadership position Edo has achieved over time in the comity of states in Nigeria.”

Born on July 19, 1986, Omobayo hails from Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State.

With a B.Eng Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and an MSc in Public Administration from the University of Benin, he is well suited for the role of a professional and an expert in public administration.

He is a registered member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.

A thorough-bred young professional, he serves as a Senior Maintenance Engineer in Dresser Wayne West Africa Limited, cutting his professional teeth in the operations in the South-South area, providing top-notch services and growing the business in the region.

He has also been active in politics in his local government, building bridges of trust with the people and mobilising them for common causes, breaking political barriers to the chagrin of his opponents.

My impeachment is illegal, we must resist forces of tyranny – Shaibu

Meanwhile, Shaibu has described his impeachment by the state House of Assembly as illegal.

Shaibu said the impeachment was due to his ambition to become the state governor.

He, however, noted that the impeachment did not follow due process.

He made his position known in a video shared on his X handle on Monday.

He said, “My good people of Edo State, I thank you all for standing by me in these troubling circumstances as the deputy governor of Edo State.

“It is with a heavy heart, yet a resolute spirit that I come before you to address the recent events that are unfolding in our dear state. I denounce in the strongest terms the illegal impeachment by the Edo State House of Assembly over baseless charges.”

He added that his impeachment was an attack on democracy and a show of dictatorship.

“This is not just an attack on me as an individual but on the democracy that we hold dear.

“It is a dangerous descent into dictatorship and a threat to the foundation of our democracy. Let it be clear that this impeachment was hatched because of my ambition to contest the Edo State 2024 governorship election under the People’s Democratic Party, an ambition that is a legal right to all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It is a sad reality that in our political landscape, ambition is met with resistance. Those in power seek to silence opposition through illegitimate means. I have devoted my life to serving the good people of Edo state with integrity and honesty. I have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of our citizens. I have upheld the values of democracy and justice and yet in return, I am faced with baseless accusations and a blatant disregard for due process and the rule of law,” he said.

Speaking further, Shaibu described the allegations leveled against him as a move to conceal the real motive behind his impeachment.

He said, “The allegations brought against me are nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal the true motive behind this impeachment. It’s a flagrant abuse of power and a betrayal of the trust the people of Edo have placed in their elected officials.

“We refuse to stay inactive while our democratic institutions manipulate and exploit for personal gain. We will fight this injustice with every atom of strength in our veins for the sake of the people of Edo State and the future of democracy. I call upon all well-meaning citizens of Edo and indeed all Nigerians who believe in the principle of democracy and justice to stand with us in this moment of crisis.

“We cannot allow tyranny to take root in our society, we must resist the forces that seek to undermine our freedom and trample upon our rights.”

He, however, appealed to the judiciary to ensure justice prevails, saying, “To the members of the Edo State House of Assembly who have chosen to forsake their oath of office and partake in this charade, I say this, history will judge harshly for your betrayal of the people who elected you to represent their interests. But know this; you do not have the power to silence the voice of justice and truth.

“I call upon the judiciary and all relevant authorities to intervene and uphold the principles of justice and fairness. Let the truth prevail over lies. Let the rule of law triumph over lawlessness. I am confident that the legal system will vindicate me and expose the sham that has been orchestrated against me.”

He added that his impeachment would not deter him from fighting for the rights and freedom of Nigerians.

“I want to reaffirm my commitment to the people of Edo State to the values that bind us together as a collective. I will not be deterred or intimidated by those who seek to subvert our democracy. I will continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of Edolites by extension Nigerians that suffer oppression. I will stand firm in my resolve to seek justice.

“As we stand united in the face of tyranny and oppression, I urge all to remain calm and go about our lawful duties as good citizens and true democrats. Together, we will overcome this chapter in our history and emerge stronger and more resolute in our pursuit of freedom and justice in our society,” he added.