Full Story: Ikorodu LG: Impeached Council Leader Reinstated
Kunle ADELABU & Wale JAGUN
-His impeachment was in Ikorodu’s interest, we were not sponsored – Councilors
Members of the Ikorodu Local Government Legislative Arm have reinstated the impeached Council Leader, Hon. Salman Ayobami, following the intervention of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Chairman of the ruling party in Ikorodu, Alhaji Taiwo Longe.
He was reinstated on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, during the plenary sitting in the Councilors’ Chamber.
Some members of the Council’s Legislative Arm had on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 impeached the Leader and changed other principal officers.
THE IMPACT gathered that at the sitting which commenced at 10.56am and had the presence of all the seven Councilors, it was resolved that the purported impeachment of Hon. Salman should be reversed.
Hon. Omotayo Awolesi moved the motion calling for the reversal of the purported impeachment while he was seconded by Hon. Banwo Azeez.
By this, the embattled Council Leader again assumed the leadership position of the Ikorodu Local Government Legislative Arm after a week of his controversial impeachment which did not receive the blessings of the party and majority of the Ikorodu residents.
Consequent to the reversal, all changes that were effected in the leadership positions of the house due to the impeachment have equally been reversed.
Hon. Adebowale Adebola who has been occupying the position of Leader of the House in the last one week has returned to his former position as Deputy Leader, Hon. Omotayo Awolesi who was elected the Deputy Leader has also returned to his former position as the Majority Leader while Hon. Shokunbi Toheeb maintained his position as the Chief Whip.
The former Minority Leader, Hon. Banwo Azeez, joined the two senior Councilors, Hon. Gbenga Awobajo and Hon. Olohunwa Oshodi, as floor members.
According to a reliable source within the Chamber, Hon. Banwo had effectively vacated his former position as Minority Leader the day he crossed carpeted to the ruling party, APC.
The source also informed that he has been denying the position of the Minority Leader before what he tagged as “the palace coup’ which temporarily ousted Hon. Salman.
In his speech at the end of the proceeding, THE IMPACT gathered that the Council Leader appealed to all the Councilors to work together as a team and should not allowed external forces to infiltrate the Hallow Chamber.
We also gathered that he pleaded for cooperation among members so as to prevent disunity which might hamper the discharge of their primary responsibilities to the public.
Intrigues, Politicking In Hon. Salman’s Impeachment As Ikorodu LG Council Leader
THE IMPACT further gathered that the decision to remove Hon. Salman as Leader of the Council was hatched between Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2017, following the decampment of Hon. Banwo Azeez, the former Minority Leader, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC alongside his political leader, Sen. Musliu Obanikoro.
It was alleged that after the decampment, the decampees across the state were directed to work with the camp where the sitting chairmen in the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) belong.
The embattled Councilor was impeached on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, by five of the seven elected members of the Ikorodu Local Government Legislative Arm for what the local legislators termed incompetence.
THE IMPACT gathered that Hon.Salman was alleged by his colleagues to be incompetent among other allegations.
It was also gathered that while the Councilors were carrying out the impeachment process, Asiwaju Tinubu was in a meeting with the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and other principal officers of the State Assembly on the composition of the local government cabinets across the state.
It was gathered that the matter was brought to Tinubu’s attention when pictures of the change of guard in the Council was posted on the net and he ordered for the immediate reversal of the impeachment decision.
The alleged directive by Sen. Obanikoro, according to report, changed the political calculation in Ikorodu Local Government where the seven councilors were affected by the leadership tussle within the APC.
It was alleged that the impeachment and the change of leadership was sponsored by the executive arm of the council who wanted majority of the councilors on its side. An allegation which has since been debunked.
Before the impeachment, Hon. Salman’s camp was in the majority with four Councilors while the three other Councillors, who were said to be loyal to the Council Chairman, belong to another.
While the embattled Council Leader with Hon. Gbenga Awobajo, Hon. Omotayo Awolesi and Hon. Banwo Alade Azeez belong to a particular camp, Hon. Adebowale Adebola who emerged the Council Leader after the purported impeachment, Hon. Olohunwa Oshodi and Hon. Shokunbi Toheeb belong to another camp.
We also gathered that the impeachment succeeded because of the absence of Hon. Awobajo in the Legislative Chamber on the fateful day. It was also gathered that the impeachment of Hon. Salman would have taken place weeks back but for the opposition of Hon. Awobajo, who is respected by the councilors and also seen as the pillar of support for the Council Leader.
Hon. Awobajo, it was gathered, arrived at the Council while the Councilors had impeached Hon. Salman and were on recess. We also gathered that he was allowed into the Chamber as an observer after the recess.
It was also reported that the initial plan of the three Councilors who initiated the impeachment move was to install Hon. Olohunwa Oshodi who,along with Hon. Awobajo, had earlier jostled for the position but was dropped because he is a non-indigene like Hon. Salman.
The embattled leader, who was present during the process of his impeachment, was said to have watched five of his colleagues carrying out the impeachment process without putting up any resistance.
After the impeachment, Hon. Adebowale Adebola, the former deputy leader, emerged the Council Leader while the former Majority Leader, Hon. Omotayo Awolesi, emerged the Deputy Leader.
Also, Hon. Banwo Azeez emerged the Majority Leader while Hon. Shokunbi Toheeb retained his position as Chief Whip.
One of the Councilors, who spoke with THE IMPACT, denied that they were sponsored by the Council Chairman or external forces to impeach the Leader.
“The fact is that Hon. Salman is incompetent and cannot represent our interest. He lacks the leadership qualities to lead during session and in the public. He doesn’t come to office regularly and cannot query the executive arm when it oversteps its boundaries. These, among other reasons, necessitated his impeachment”.
The Councillor also admitted that the non-indigeneship status of the embattled leader was also responsible for his impeachment.
“Of course, I will admit that( non indigeneship status being one of the reasons for Hon. Salman’s impeachment) because he has not been acting like someone who has the interest of Ikorodu at heart. The only place where Hon. Salman feels at home is his ward. We have called his attention to several issues but he has always been afraid to act on them as he always told us that he is afraid to face the Council Chairman. How can the head of the legislative arm be afraid of the executive and you expect him to perform his primary duty as expected?”, he queried.
Reliable sources also told THE IMPACT that the plot was planned by three of the seven councilors with the support of some party leaders who are interested in taking control of the Council.
More so, the alleged sponsors are said to be at loggerhead with the Council Chairman over the award of contract for the construction of proposed two roads in the council.
According to report, the leaders, who are said to be political contractors, plan to have their candidates, who are indigenes and who they can control, in the leadership positions of the Council as a way of protecting their own interests.
They were said to have sponsored the impeachment of the embattled Council Leader on the ground that he is a non-indigene whose continuous occupation of the exalted position is seen as sacrilegious.
In an online interview with Hon. Adebowale Adebola, he told THE IMPACT that the decision to impeach the Leader was a collective one.
“Certainly, it’s a decision taken by the whole house. Majority carry the vote as far as legislative business is concerned”, he stated.
“We did it without any consideration for our factions or groups. We have a common goal as far legislative arm is concerned. We speak same language”, he added.
He also added that their decision to impeach the leader was in the interest of Ikorodu.
“What we did is for the benefits of Ikorodu and it’s in accordance with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have breached no law or rule of legislative engagements”, Hon. Adebowale declared.
He also challenged our reporter to do an independent findings if he’s unsure of the incompetence of the embattled Council Leader.
The Deputy Leader also debunked the allegation that they are being sponsored by Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, the Council Chairman.
“Chairman has nothing to do with legislative business. It was solely our decision”.
Also,on the allegation that they were being sponsored by some party leaders who are allegedly at loggerhead with the Council Chairman, Hon. Adebowale also debunked the allegation as untrue.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Taiwo Longe, APC Chairman in Ikorodu, while speaking with THE IMPACT, before the reversal, described the allegations against Hon.Salman as spurious and not enough to impeach him.
Alhaji Longe stated that the party is supreme and such a process cannot be complete without the involvement of the party.
“Well, they have been told to reverse the process because it did not have the blessing of the party. Our national leader has also directed them to reverse it because we cannot afford to start another round of problems, he stated.
“There has never been a time they brought to the party’s notice any allegation against him (Hon. Salman) and you don’t just act without carrying the party along. We have intervened by asking them to correct the mistake so that we can move on” ,Alhaji Longe stated.
Alhaji Longe added,”They have assured us that they will reverse the process last Friday but due to some circumstances, they were unable to sit and they did communicate back that the sitting had been adjourned till December 12 which is the deadline we gave them”.
Also, it was gathered that the reversal of the impeachment would have been done last Friday, December 8, but for the absence of the three Councilors(Hon. Olohunwa Oshodi,Hon. Adebowale and Hon. Shokunbi Toheeb) who allegedly engineered the impeachment process.
This, however, necessitated the adjournment of sitting to December 12 which was the expiration of the deadline given the councillors by the party for the reversal of their impeachment decision.
It was also gathered that the Lagos State House of Assembly and the leadership of the party at the state level have also intervened and ordered for the reinstatement of Hon. Salman.
Meanwhile, in a phone chat with the Council Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adesina, he denied sponsoring the impeachment of Hon. Salman.
“Why will I sponsor his impeachment when he has done nothing to offend me. I was elected as the Chairman of the Council and not as a member of the legislative arm and I don’t have any imput in their activities. It was the decision of the Councilors and we have appealed to them to reverse the process. In actual fact, they have returned him”, Hon. Adeshina confirmed to THE IMPACT.
“I personally intervened on his behalf with his colleagues that they should act in ways that would not further divide the party. I told them that it is too early to impeach the Council Leader because that would create another round of problems. So, anybody saying I was involved in his impeachment is just making political statement”, the Council Chairman stated.
Attempts to speak with Hon. Salman Ayobami after the impeachment and before his reinstatement proved abortive.
- Posted in: Politics