The Ogun State House of Assembly has admitted there was no voting before the removal of Hon. Dare Kadiri as the Deputy Speaker of the House.
This was disclosed Friday by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Culture, Yusuf Adejojo, who also doubles as the Spokesperson of the Ogun Assembly.
Kadiri was impeached on Thursday over what the house termed gross misconduct.
But Kadiri said his impeachment was illegal and unconditional, saying it did not follow due process.
While featuring on Channels TV alongside Adejojo on Friday, the impeached Deputy Speaker claimed that there was no voting before he was impeached by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo.
This, he said, was contrary to section 92C of the 1999 constitution, which states that the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker can only be impeached by voting of not less than two-third of the house.
Kadiri, who threatened legal actions, said, “Was there any voting? There was no voting. They only collected signatures; and the signatures were even collected before sitting. Did they sign in the house? They signed before they came in. That was a violation of the constitution.
“There’s a standing rule that explains the impeachment of the Speaker and Deputy Speake. The standing order says clearly that it must be by voting; the 2/3 must be by voting. What they did was to collect signatures. Are you telling me they have already preempted before going to the Chambers? They have already signed and just went downstairs to read the names. That’s not the process, that is a pre-arranged process, which is against the rule of the house and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Asked if there was voting before Kadiri was removed as the Deputy Speaker, Adejojo replied in the negative, saying the house relied on the standing order, which he said permitted the impeachment of the Deputy Speaker through the adoption the commmittee’s report by two-third majority.
“There wasn’t a voting. But the constitution says our activities in the floor of the House of Assembly will be guided by the standing order, which says once we have the two-third in adopting any recommendation of the committee, it is allowed,” Adejojo said.
Kadiri has said the impeachment process should not be allowed to stand in a democracy, saying he was being victimised for trying to expose the corruption in Ogun State House of Assembly.
On the allegations against him, he said: “I don’t know when, in this country, where talking to my lawyer to write a letter to the house of assembly, asking for financial documents as a Deputy Speaker will be an insubordination.
“I have not seen when the Speaker is not on seat, as a Deputy Speaker, my official car has been bad for one week and I decided to approve N16,000 for the repair of my car and that would amount to gross misconduct. The money was not even approved; I paid the money myself. The house is still owing me.
“I didn’t bring a third-party into the business of the house. I only asked my lawyer to write to the house to release the information to my office, not to the lawyer and I don’t know when, in this country, the financial information and how we manage the resources of the house will be kept so secret.
“I am the Deputy Speaker and I don’t know how much is our running cost. I don’t know the budget of the house, I don’t know how they spend it and I am now asking for it. I don’t think that is bad.
“That is why I resigned from the Fund Management Committee sometimes in December. Since I have got to this house of assembly, we (the committee) have never sat. It is only people coming to tell you to sign one document; and I said no! I can’t keep doing this. I don’t have any of these documents. I don’t know how much is being released to us as our running cost. I don’t know how much is being spent. I don’t know how they run the house and you said I am the Deputy Speaker, the Vice Chairman of the Fund Management Committee. I resigned voluntarily from the committee.
“The corruption in the house is what I am trying to expose and I don’t think this will consume me. I will be available for the EFCC or ICPC to come ask me questions about this,” Kadiri alleged.
In his reaction, the Chairman House Committee on Information, Adejojo, said the financial information being sought by Kadiri was available to him, being the Vice Chairman of Fund Management Committee, saying, “I don’t know what information he is requesting for, that he didn’t report to the house before involving a legal practitioner.”
While saying Kadiri’s impeachment followed due process, Adejojo added that the decision was based on the adoption of two-third majority of the house.
“The notification was served on him. Due process was followed. He was given a channel to reply to the notification and a five-man committee was set up.
“In regards to the N16,000 he talked about, the committee found out that he doesn’t have the right to approve such fund. He only has that right in the absence of Mr Speaker. The committee said the Speaker was available on the said date that the memo was approved. He can only act in the absence of the Speaker. I am not sure if the money was released or not, the report says he doesn’t have the right to do so,” Adejojo submitted.