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Lawmakers accuse Shaibu of leaking govt secrets, begin impeachment

The Edo House of Assembly, on Wednesday, commenced impeachment proceedings against the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.

The Assembly accused the deputy governor of perjury and leaking the government’s secrets.

The impeachment notice is believed to be the latest development in the rift between Shaibu and his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki.

There had been an uneasy calm between the deputy governor and the governor since last year when Shaibu declared his interest to join this year’s Edo governorship race.

Obaseki is believed to be supporting a former Chairman of Sterling Bank, Asue Ighodalo, who has now emerged as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the September 21, 2024 poll.

Ighodalo defeated Shaibu and nine other aspirants at the governorship primary conducted on February 22 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

Though Shaibu boycotted the primary and was declared the winner at a parallel primary, the PDP national leadership failed to recognise him and has since issued Ighodalo a Certificate of Return as the valid winner of the primary.

Last week, Shaibu went to the PDP national secretariat in Abuja to demand a Certificate of Return, threatening to go to court, amid reconciliatory efforts by the party.

On Wednesday, the Edo State House of Assembly announced the commencement of impeachment proceedings against Shaibu.

The Majority Leader of the House, Charity Aiguobarueghian, who announced the impeachment notice during plenary, said it was based on a petition dated March 5, 2024, signed by 21 out of the 24 members of the House.

“The petition against the deputy governor came in on March 5 and was signed by 21 out of the 24 members. The number of members who signed the petition was more than the two-thirds requirement stipulated in the constitution,” Aiguobarueghian said.

The Majority Leader said the allegations in the petition bordered on perjury and revealing of government secrets.

The Speaker of the House, 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 gave the deputy governor seven days to respond to the notice of impeachment.

Efforts to get Shaibu’s reaction were unsuccessful. When contacted his media aide, Musa Ebhomiana, told our correspondent to give him time to respond. But he could no longer be reached on the phone later as of the time of filing this report.

However, the Conference of Registered Political Parties in Edo State faulted the impeachment proceedings against Shaibu.

In a statement by its Chairman, Dr. Samson Isibor, and Secretary, John Isidhaome, called on Obaseki to rein in the Assembly.

 “As far as we are concerned, the Deputy Governor has not committed any impeachable offence or breached his oath of office.

“Edo people have the exclusive right to call for his impeachment if he commits any grievous offence like corruption, misappropriation of public funds, among others,” the association said.

SourcePUNCH

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