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Ekiti-Born Senior Lawyers Back Embattled Speaker, Aribisogan, Call His Purported Impeachment Coup Against State

7 Ekiti-Born Senior Lawyers Back Embattled Speaker, Aribisogan, Call His Purported Impeachment Coup Against State
November 24, 2022

They described the action as a coup d’état against the state.


Seven Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) from Ekiti State have declared support for the embattled Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Gboyega Aribisogan, describing his purported impeachment as unacceptable.

They described the action as a coup d’état against the state.

The senior advocates who have taken this position in a statement are Aare Afe Babalola, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Dele Adesina, Olu Daramola, Femi Falana, Dayo Akinlaja and Gboyega Oyewole.

Titled ‘Ekiti State House of Assembly impeachment saga: This constitutional and democratic rascality must stop henceforth!” the senior lawyers of Ekiti origin said Aribisogan is legally the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

The senior lawyers described the action of a faction of lawmakers backed by the former governor of the state, Kayode Fayemi as illegal. According to the lawyers, the impeachment of Aribisogan and election of Olubunmi Adelugba as replacement is a nullity.

SaharaReporters had reported that Aribisogan was on Tuesday, November 15, elected the Speaker of the Assembly. He got 15 votes to emerge Speaker to replace the late Funminiyi Afuye having defeated the former Chief Whip, Adelugba, who had 10 votes.

Adelugba who is the candidate of former Governor Fayemi regrouped and impeached Aribisogan and elected Adelugba under the protection of the police.

Meanwhile, the senior lawyers have asked Adelugba to stop parading herself as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, saying doing so “constitutes not just an illegality and unconstitutionality, but also a perseverance in such an unlawful enterprise."

The petition obtained by The PUNCH reads, “In like manner, we plead with the members of the House of Assembly to allow all principal officers of the House, including the Deputy Speaker, the Chief Whip, the Majority Leader etc., continue in office, without making any attempt to impeach or replace any of them.”

They queried how Aribisogan could have committed an infraction since the Assembly was sealed by the police the morning after his inauguration.

The senior lawyers also asked if he was confronted with the allegations against him to warrant his suspension.

“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.

“This is absolutely unwarranted, unjustified and condemnable. By way of argument, the sponsors of the charade and their cohorts in the House have foisted on the entire state a coup d’état, in the sense that the suspension of more than one-quarter of the members of the House equally translates to the fact that members of their constituencies have also been suspended from the state.”

They called on Governor Biodun Oyebanji to stop keeping silent in the face of the “apparent threat to peace, order, good governance and harmony in the state is not the best.”

They advised the House to appreciate “the inviolate nature of the sovereignty of the legislative House and stop hobnobbing with outsiders or powers-that- be to usurp the powers and jurisdiction, rights and privileges, constitutionally and democratically conferred on them.”