On Monday morning, the Rivers State House of Assembly witnessed a commotion as some lawmakers removed the Majority Leader, Hon. Edison Ehie, over allegations of incompetence and highhandedness. The lawmakers, who were 18 out of the 32 members of the House, also chose Hon. Chidi Lloyd as the new majority leader.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, who chaired the plenary session, affirmed the impeachment and said it was in line with the rules and procedures of the House. He said the House had gotten a petition from some members against Ehie, accusing him of failing to perform his duties effectively and compromising the interests of the House.
However, Ehie, who is a loyalist of Governor Siminalaye Fubara, denied the impeachment and called it illegal and unconstitutional. He said he was not given a fair hearing and that the impeachment was politically driven by those who are against the governor. He also claimed that some of his colleagues were bribed with money to impeach him.
The impeachment of Ehie has worsened the crisis rocking the Rivers State government, which has been involved in a power struggle between Governor Fubara and his predecessor, Senator Magnus Abe, who is now the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. The APC has been blaming Fubara for mismanaging the state’s resources and ignoring the party’s interests.
On Sunday night, a bomb blast rocked the Assembly complex, causing damage to some parts of the building. The police said they were probing the incident and that no one was injured or killed in the blast. However, some lawmakers alleged that the explosion was a scheme to stop them from accessing the Assembly on Monday.
The impeachment of Ehie has also sparked a new move by some lawmakers to impeach Governor Fubara, who has been facing several allegations of corruption and abuse of power. It was learned that 10 lawmakers have signed an impeachment notice for Fubara and are planning to present it to the Speaker soon.
The Rivers State government has not issued any official statement on the impeachment of Ehie or the bomb explosion at the Assembly complex. However, sources close to the governor said he was unfazed by the developments and that he would continue to discharge his duties as the chief executive of the state.