Nigeria: Drama in Ekiti Assembly As Lawmaker Defies Suspension Order

Ekiti Assembly

There was a mild drama on Thursday at the Ekiti State House of Assembly as a member, Gboyega Aribisogan, suspended in October last year for 180 legislative days, stormed the house, saying his suspension was illegal.

The lawmaker said after consulting with his constituency, it was realised that the house flouted its own rules in the suspension, saying the rules provided that a member could only be suspended for 14 legislative days.

There are approximately 13 legislative days in a month and the lawmaker is expected to serve his suspension for about one year.

The house which had planned to hold plenary on Thursday, however failed to hold its session, apparently to avoid having Mr. Aribisogan present.

Mr. Aribisogan headed for the Office of the Clerk, Tola Esan, where he submitted a letter conveying the decision of his constituency that he should resume his legislative duties.

The legislator was suspended for 180 legislative days on October 6, 2016 by the house for allegedly holding meetings with the political opponents of Governor Ayo Fayose in Lagos.

Mr. Aribisogan had denied the allegation.

He told journalists in Ado-Ekiti that he had resumed his legislative duties according to the wishes of the people of his constituency whom he said have consulted the House Standing Rules and Constitution and discovered the illegality of his suspension.

“I have resumed at the assembly and I want to say without any fear of contradiction that they have no right to suspend me for 180 days. The Standing Rules say they have no right to suspend me for more than 14 legislative days,” he said.

“Having consulted with my constituency, they went through the Standing Rules and the Constitution and they discovered that the House was wrong to have suspended me for 180 legislative days.

“There is no way they can prevent me from coming to the chamber; I am loyal to my constituents and I am loyal to the Constitution.

“Their failure to sit today cannot prevent me from performing my legislative functions.

“I remain loyal to my constituency who voted for me and sent me to the House to represent them and not to an individual. For how long will they avoid me? I am back for good.”

Efforts to get the house to speak on the development was unfruitful as officials would not comment.

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