Naija Center News
Nigerian Newspapers, Naija News & Naija Politics

SPECIAL REPORT: How Pharaoh Adjoto Rules The Edo State House Of Assembly

0 15

Even though nobody is openly confronting the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, members are grumbling over his style of leadership.

By Ehi Ekhator

Even though nobody is openly confronting the speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly Hon. Kabiru Adjoto, members are grumbling over his style of leadership.

SPECIAL REPORT: How Pharaoh Adjoto Rules The Edo State House Of Assembly

Adjoto, representing Akoko Edo constituency 1 resumed office in August 2017 after the former speaker, Mr Justin Okoboh and his deputy Elizabeth Ativie were impeached.

The speaker emergence was supposed to be temporary as the seat was allocated to Edo Central. After the impeachment of Okobono, the Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki met the members and appeal that they should consider the political tripod in the state in the interest of equity and justice.

The State Chairman of the party, Anslem Ojezua who also addressed journalist a day after assured that the All Progressive Congress will pressure the new leadership to ensure that Edo Central, where the leadership of the party was ceded to regain the seat.

A year later, Adjoto remains the speaker and anyone he thinks may challenge his seat is either impeached or suspended.

During an interview in Benin city, Adjoto was asked if he was not worried that his emergence had distorted the political tripod in the state, he replied “We are in a democracy and I will not like to comment much on that. The parliament is an independent arm of government and a decision had been taken by the majority of the members of the parliament for a change in leadership. 19 members came together that I should be their Speaker and today I am the Speaker.

“In a democracy, there is room for discussions, so we are still talking. If at the end of the day, a majority of our members say Adjoto should step down, I have no option than to step down. But as we stand today, the majority said I should remain as their speaker and in a democracy you must respect the wish of the majority.”

Impeachment Loom

On the 22nd of October 2018, the news broke out about the impeachment of the deputy speaker, Hon Victor Edoror for corruption, misappropriation of funds and act capable of destabilising the House.

But behind the scene, Adjoto suspended Edoror because he suspected that APC was after him following his suit against the party, and he suspected Edoror to spearhead his ousting even though, the then deputy speaker was barely aware of any plans.

In an attempt to save his seat, the speaker planned with another 5 members of the house to impeached Edoror, then suspended him for three months. Others dragged into the politics were Messrs Foly Ogedengbe, member representing APC Owan East; and Mr. Ganiyu Audu, member representing APC Etsako West 1 constituencies.

Messrs Ogedengbe and Audu were suspended for unruly behaviour.

Speaking with NAIJA CENTER NEWS on Monday, Edoror described himself as “a victim of circumstances”. He denied knowledge of the planned impeachment he was accused of.

He said, “I am a victim of circumstances in the whole matter. I actually knew nothing about the issue until I was made to understand that there was an allegation that some member wanted to impeach the speaker because of high headedness, misappropriation of funds which I was not privileged to, before you know it, because of the fact that I am the deputy speaker, it Is zoned to my district of which Adjoto is not from, so he thought I was the one mobilizing his impeachment but unfortunately, I was not in the picture, I didn’t know anything about it.

“I was even supposed to travel to Lagos but as soon as I heard it, I went to the governor and I realized the governor was already aware of the situation and I showed him the ticket I bought for my Lagos trip, so he advised us that we should wait for his return from Abuja. I didn’t go to Lagos anymore because I wanted to see how I will be impeached, I needed to know how it was going to be done. I am not against impeachment, if members in the house of 24 can get 2/3 majority, I would have agreed.

“When we got to the house, they started moving motions to impeach me, when I requested for the papers of impeachment then I discovered that they didn’t have a paper and no single signature. They were just five of them who spearheaded the impeachment. I asked every member present and they denied signing any paper.

“We went to the party leaders and the party called us for a meeting. There were 12 APC members there, and they asked what happened, Adjoto said I wanted to impeach him and that was why they impeached me and the party asked, who did Edoror solicit support from to impeach you? He didn’t say anything. The party members then said, okay, where is the signatory, where is the paper? They said there was none. So, the party said the status quo remains and formally wrote the House that everything should be reversed.

“Adjoto is saying I am impeached, without due process and in addition, they said I am also suspended. Instead of going to court to prove how I was impeached, they are boasting that they will delay the matter until the tenure is over.

Diverting Members Salaries/Allowances For Personal Expenses.

The speaker whose tactics had resembled the law and order of King Pharaoh of Egypt is using his office to withhold members salaries, which some members claimed is sharing with his cronies.

For example, the official car of one of the honorables, Mr Godwin Adenomo is packed in the Speaker’s village residence.

The court had on Dec. 8, 2017, sacked Mr Sunday Aghedo as a member representing Ovia South-West in the assembly in affirmation of a lower court’s earlier judgment, and ordered his replacement with Adenomo.

Despite the court order, the Speaker has refused to pay him his allowances and salaries.

A source who spoke with NAIJA CENTER NEWS in anonymity said after Adenomo’s supreme court, Adjoto claimed Oshiomhole and Osarodion Ogie gave the order that Adenomo should not be paid. Osarodion Ogie was mad that the honorable took the party to court but right now, the issue is no longer relevant because about 9 members had dragged the party to court.

“The issue they were hiding under to withhold the payment does not exist anymore. I don’t think Ogie is still responsible for his (Adenomo’s) travail as Adjoto is probably doing whatever he wants now.

“Adjoto dragged APC to court, the party gave him an order to return Edoror and he refused. He went to court and no one is punishing him for it. The Mistake Adeonomo made was when he went to make peace after he had won his case. He thought it was necessary to mend the wall but he was wrong because they took advantage of that.

“Philip Shaubu is one of the people using Adjoto.  Before the speaker went to court, his excuse for not paying Honorable Adenomo was that he (Adenomo) dragged the party to court and that the party leaders ordered him not to pay him. He was using the money to service some party leaders like the secretary of the APC, Lawrence Okah and Philip Shaibu.

“When Adjoto finally dragged APC to court, he came up with another excuse that he was using Adenomo’s allowances to pay the lawyer. Adjoto claimed he is the speaker and he has the right to do whatever he wants. There is a court judgement that ruled that the speaker should stop interfering in Adenomo’s constitutional duties but he doesn’t obey the court order”.

The source continues: “End of November, the speaker announced Adenomo to an ad-hoc committee, he first said he will head the youth and sport, but later changed it to Arts and Culture which is against the rule of the house because If you make announcements at plenary, it must be undone at plenary. As regards to his overhead, he is conniving with the likes of the Majority leader, Hon. Asoro.

“There were some benefits that came, usually, when the house pass a budget, there is a sitting allowance given by the governor, Adjoto took it, and he also seized the quarterly, whatever should go to the Adenomo, the speaker diverts it claiming he is using it to pay the lawyer.

“Adenomo won his case since December 2017 and till now, he has not been paid. The speaker’s argument was that if he does not belong to a committee, he cannot claim any official car and overheard.

“Honorable Asoro claimed the money was with the speaker without additional reasons.

“Every member in the house has a committee and an official car but Adenomo’s official car is currently being parked in Adjoto’s compound in his village.”

Adjoto has also withheld Edoror’s salary since his impeachment, which, according to the deputy speaker, is unusual.

Edoror who also confirmed Adenomo’s situation said, “Instead of replying the party, he took the party to court. Since I was suspended, the house has not paid my salary. This is what got me disturbed, initially, my entitlement, they can stop within the house but my salary cannot be stopped without the governor”.

Meanwhile, another member Honorable Gani Audu who is on suspension still receives full payment from Adjoto. This is due to the speculation that Audu is an ally of Adams Oshiomhole.

Total Disregard For Due Process

As the speaker of the house, Adjoto is expected to be law abiding and has respect for the rule of law. The Speaker has refused to obey the Supreme Court ruling on Adenomo, has refused to revert the impeachment of Victor Edoror and other members, and he has refused to withdraw his case against the APC and Oshiomhole from the court.

Adjoto still receives his full salaries and allowances while withholding members remunerations claiming that he uses them for legal fee, meanwhile, he is currently in court against the APC.

The source disclosed to NAIJA CENTER NEWS that “The impeached deputy speaker, Edobor by default is the Chairman of Tender’s Board which handles project consideration.

“The speaker has done two to three renovations without following due process. There is a tender’s board but he doesn’t use it. The deputy speaker is the Chairman of the Tender’s board so there is no way he can backdate all the documents. 

“Whenever you approach Adjoto for any concern, he threatens members with suspension. He runs the house now and he thinks he has the backing of the governor, Godwin Obaseki. “

Edobor confirmed the allegation that Adjoto does not follow due process in approving projects for the house. “For a due process, I am the deputy speaker of that house, statutorily, according to our rules, I am the Chairman of tender’s board. I have heard millions of monies have been released,  N33m, N75m, N150m, N100m in three occasions have been received in the house since I became a deputy speaker, I have never, as chairman of tender’s board, appropriated or undertook a due process for a contract to be awarded in the house, I have never been told but I have seen execution of projects, things being done and none have passed through my table.  I don’t know whether it’s misappropriation or embezzlement, but I know things have to pass through the tender’s board for Mr Speaker to approve.

Nepotism

The House of Assembly Commission is headed by an Edo North Man, the clerk of the House is also an Edo north man. The man that was supposed to be the clerk of the house is ten years senior to the present clerk. After the former clerk James Omoataman who was an Esan man retired, his deputy who is a Benin man, Hon. Otabor became the Acting clerk. When it was time to confirm him, Adjoto manipulated the promotion of an Edo North man and gave him three promotions to come above the Benin man.

NAIJA CENTER NEWS contacted Speaker Adjoto to clear the allegations. He promised to contact us through his aide. Hours after, we sent a reminder text but but no reply.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time
Comments
Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More