Ekiti Assembly crisis claims committee chairman

The ripples in the Ekiti State House of Assembly has taken its first casualty, as the embattled Chairman of its Committee on Information, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, has been removed and replaced by Dr Samuel Omotosho.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that following the removal of Aribisogan, who is representing Ikole Constituency 1 and his replacement with Omotosho, who is representing Oye Constituency 1, the next move is believed to be a process of recalling him from the Assembly.

Aribisogan and the deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Segun Adewumi, have been under fire allegedly for disloyalty to the governor and for alleged secret meetings with Ayodele Fayose’s political adversaries.

Aribisogan was specially accused of meeting with the Senator representing Ogun East, Buruji Kashamu, Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN).

But it was gathered that deputy Speaker Adewumi was said to be in Ado Ekiti when he was alleged to have been away to Lagos, while Aribisogan was not in Ado Ekiti at the time.

However, Aribisogan, in a statement denied meeting with the people mentioned and explained that he was in Lagos to clear the visa issues of his children studying overseas.

He insisted that he was not in alliance with anyone deemed to be a political enemy of Governor Fayose “because we worked hard to enthrone the government of Governor Fayose.”

Aribisogan however appeared before the Committee on Ethics and Privileges led by Mr Samuel Jeje, where a audio tape allegedly capturing his (Aribisogan’s) voice, was played.

In reaction however, Aribisogan described the audio tape as “a super-imposed voice-over to tarnish his reputation.”

He claimed that his predicament was orchestrated by mischief makers in the Assembly.

The embattled lawmaker told newsmen on Wednesday after appearing before the panel, that he was questioned on whether he met Kashamu and Falana before the controversial audio was played to him.

While affirming his loyalty to Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  Aribisogan said he had no confidence in the panel because he had already been found guilty even before its report is released.

Aribisogan said: “The so-called audio was a superimposed voiceover to tarnish my reputation. At the panel’s sitting, there was a presentation of inaudible voiceover claiming that they recognized my voice and I discarded it as a cheap blackmail.

“They asked me in the course of investigation whether I have met Buruji and I told them that the last time I met with Buruji was when I followed Mr Governor and Hon. Omotoso was there too but it is unfortunate that he (Omotoso) wanted to make a political gain out of this saga.

“Since then, I have not met Buruji as a person either secretly or openly. I have no confidence in the panel but because of the constitutional provision, I have to attend the panel to clear my name.

“I appeared before the panel to tell them that I never met with Buruju and I never met with Falana as alleged. I am part and parcel of this government from inception and I remain a loyal part member.

“Changing committee chairmen is a routine exercise but I suspect a foul play that the outcome of the panel is already predetermined.”

When asked whether he had been invited by the governor on the crisis, Aribisogan said: “This is clearly an Assembly matter the governor has not invited me but I am expecting the members of the panel to go and investigate where the shenanigans are coming from.

“The whole saga is an immolation to destroy me and put me in a political quagmire. Look at my pedigree where I am coming from before passing judgment on me.

“Having served the government, is it possible for me to be holding meeting with Buruji and Falana and work against a government of which I am part?”

“I want to challenge the person who claimed to have recorded my voice to be bold enough to face me. The plot was executed by one man in the House to bring me down.”