Illegal Occupation: Ekiti Assembly Talks Tough, Set To Probe, Recover Legislative Quarters Taken Over By Police


  • By Demola Atobaba, Ado-Ekiti

The Ekiti State House of Assembly has promised to look into circumstances surrounding the taking over and occupation of the Legislative Quarters by the Police with a view to recovering the property.

The speaker, Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, who made the pledged also expressed commitment to recover the Assembly property soon.


Rt. Hon. Aribasoye also frowned at the attitude of some members of the public who are fond of sitting on the vacant seats of legislators in the Assembly promising to henceforth invoke the law to punish the culprits.

The commissioner-nominees who appeared before the legislators included former Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Karonwi Oladapo; former Head of Service, Mrs. Peju Babafemi; former Caretaker Chairman of Ijero Local Government, Mr. Ojo Atibioke and former Chairman of Ado Ekiti Local Government, Mrs. Tosin Aluko.

Mrs. Aluko, who was carrying an injury on her leg and limped into the chambers for her screening was not asked any question as she was requested to take a bow and go on compassionate grounds.

The gesture of the legislature not to subject Mrs. Aluko to questioning on health grounds which was championed by the Speaker received a deafening ovation from her supporters most of whom filled the gallery to observe the proceedings.

Rt. Hon. Oladapo, a member of the First Assembly (1999-2003) in which he was privileged to serve as the Deputy Speaker, who went down the memory lane on the defining moments of each legislative sessions and their presiding officers, pleaded with the members of the Seventh Assembly (2023-2027) to ensure the stability of the current session.

While noting that the Parliament is enriched and made stronger by its members getting re-elected as many times as possible, Karonwi said he was looking at the possiblity of having third term members and fourth term members in the Ekiti Assembly.

The nominee frowned at the takeover of the Legislative Quarters along NTA Road Ado Ekiti by the Police noting that the foundation stone of the project was laid during the tenure of the first elected Governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and was designated to be the official residence of serving legislators.

Rt. Hon. Oladapo urged the Speaker and members of the Seventh Assembly to collaborate with Governor Biodun Oyebanji to ensure that the Legislative Quarters is recovered from the Police and used for the purpose it was intended for.

The former Deputy Speaker in his remarks also urged the Assembly to take a second look at the case of some staff members of the Assembly believed to have been unjustly disengaged urging the concerned authorities to reinstate them.

Rt. Hon. Oladapo had earlier raised the issue of alleged desecration of the hallowed chambers including illegal sitting on the legislators’ seats by unauthorized persons calling for more respect for the legislature from individuals visiting the Assembly.

Responding to the two issues raised by the nominee, the Speaker vowed that no member of the public would be allowed to desecrate the House urging individuals visiting the Assembly to always ensure decorum anytime they come to the Complex.

He said: “No member of the public will be allowed to desecrate the House of Assembly. I hereby give directive to the Sergeant-at-Arm that on no occasion should anybody who is not a member of the Seventh Assembly sit on any of the seats meant for the honourable members.
“Mr. Clerk and the Sergeant-at-Arm, I hope you can hear me. Mr. Clerk will brief me on the issue of Legislative Quarters and we are going to act appropriately after being fully briefed on the development.”

After addressing the Assembly, the Speaker asked Rt. Hon. Oladapo to take his bow and leave the hallowed chamber after which former Head of Service, Mrs. Babafemi was admitted.
The nominee spoke on her experience in the civil service which she joined in the old Ondo State in 1987 and rose to the pinnacle of service as Head of Service in Ekiti State in 2019 before bowing out in 2022.

Mrs. Babafemi who had worked in many ministries before becoming a Permanent Secretary in 2009 promised to bring her experience to bear in the bureaucracy to serve the state diligently to the best of her ability.

Having been satisfied with Mrs. Babafemi’s submissions, the Speaker urged his colleagues not to bother the nominee with questions having served the for 35 years in the civil service
The Speaker said the Assembly had looked at the nominee’s record of service which he described as unblemished urging her to always remind her colleagues in the executive if she is confirmed on the need to always honour summons on the need to give account of stewardship.
Mrs. Babafemi subsequently took her bow and was ushered out of the legislative chambers.

Next to be screened was Mr. Atibioke who described himself as farmer and agriculturist. He promised to work in line with the six-pillar agenda of the Oyebanji Administration and give his best in any ministry he is posted to if he is confirmed by the Assembly.

Dwelling on his experience as Board Member of the Ekiti State Housing Corporation, Mr. Atiobioke described as unacceptable a situation in which occupants of one of the government-owned housing estates in Ado Ekiti are owing the state government to the tune of over N350 million.
Before taking his bow, he urged the people of the state to develop better attitude and mindset to government property saying more political will is needed to ensure sanity in that sector.
Rt. Hon. Aribasoye reminded the nominee that the screening did not amount to automatic confirmation stressing that a special sitting would be held at a later date after the conclusion of the screening exercise to confirm successful nominees ahead of their swearing-in.

Apparently moved by the sight of the last nominee for the day and former Ado Ekiti Council Chairperson, Mrs. Aluko limping into the Assembly chambers, the Speaker said: “Because of her health challenge, can this woman take a bow and go?”

The Speaker’s remark was greeted with a loud response in the affirmative and a big ovation by her supporters and sympathizers in the gallery.

The nominee who was overwhelmed with emotion and show of support for her condition bowed and took her leave from the chambers into the waiting arms of her supporters who had been waiting for her outside and continued their celebration on her successful screening.
At the conclusion of the commissioner nominees screening for the day, the legislator representing Ikere Constituency 1, Hon. Babatunde Oke, moved a motion calling for stoppage of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the canals, drainages and roadsides in Ekiti State.

The motion was seconded by the Majority Leader and the legislator representing Ekiti Southwest Constituency 2, Hon. Tolu Ige.
Members who lent their voices to the motion included Hon. Iyabo Fakunle-Okieimen (Ilejemeje), Hon. Abimbola Solanke (Moba 1), Hon. Femi Akindele (Irepodun/Ifelodun 1) and Hon. Tony Adaramodu (Ekiti Southwest 1).

The House passed resolutions frowning against indiscriminate dumping of waste in canals, drainages and roadsides urging members of the public to desist from the practice. They also urged the citizens to be vigilant and ensure that the culprits are reported and made to face appropriate punishment under the law.

The House also urged the state government to employ more environmental officers to monitor the environment in the state and that the State Waste Management Authority should be strengthened to ensure that the environment is safe.

The legislators further resolved that the local governments should collaborate with traditional rulers and religious leaders to sensitize the citizens on the dangers of indiscriminate dumping waste.

Another resolution passed was that the state government should ensure the continuous de-silting and clearing of drainages, work towards recycling waste and commercializing waste collection.

The House adjourned its plenary to Wednesday, 19th July, 2023.

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