The Ekiti State House of Assembly has formally suspended its chairman on Information, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, for what they said was “a minimum of 180 sitting days in the first instance.”
Aribisogan was also barred by the Assembly from the assembly complex, saying “he is not to be seen within one kilometre radius of the House of Assembly complex while the punishment lasts.”
Aribisogan was also barred from holding any position of responsibility on behalf of the House of Assembly for the period of his suspension, while all benefits associated with his office were also suspended.
According to the house, “the punishment is to serve as a deterrent to any member who might be harbouring thoughts of of misbehaviour and to Honourable Aribisogan himself.”
It also said his conduct would be watched while the punishment of the ex-chairman of the house committee lasted, after a committee set up to probe allegations of misconduct submitted its report.
At a plenary on Thursday, the Speaker of the Assembly, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, announced the decision of the house, which, after a debate.
The house had adopted the report of a seven-man ad hoc committee by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges which investigated allegations they alleged was “bordering on gross misconduct and acts capable of destabilising the House made against Aribisogan by the Leader of House Business, Olatunji Akinyele.”
After the sitting, the new Chairman, House Committee on Information, Dr Samuel Omotoso, flanked by the rest of his colleagues, fielded questions from journalists, and reiterated the allegations of misconduct against Aribisogan.
Dr Omotoso, however, added that pardon could not be ruled out “once he (Aribisogan) can show penitence and accept the sanctions meted to him in good faith. That is the spirit of a responsible man.”
However, Aribisogan insisted that he was not guilty of any of the offences hope was said to have committed and announced that he would seek redress.
According to him, “I see it as travesty of justice. The committee has compromised itself. The report is not a representation of what transpired at the Committee’s hearing.”
He said he saw it coming because “it has been prearranged and therefore I am not surprised.”
Aribisogan added: “I am going to seek redress because the mandate I hold is that of Ikole people. The entire process is to undermine Ikole people. I will not confess to what I did not do, even at the risk of death.
“Whatever might have happened today at the Assembly had been concocted and executed by the same people who want to undermine Ikole people. I will consult my constituents to know what my next line of action will be.”