The Ekiti State House of Assembly has been hit by crisis following the removal of the member representing Ikole Constituency 1, Gboyega Aribisogan, as the Information Committee Chairman.
Aribisogan’s sack as House Information Committee chair and his subsequent replacement with the member representing Oye Constituency 1, Samuel Omotoso, is suspected to be a prelude to his recall from the Assembly.
The embattled lawmaker was accused of holding secret meetings with the Senator representing Ogun East, Buruji Kashamu, and Lagos-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.
Aribisogan appeared before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges chaired by Samuel Jeje where a purported audio file capturing his (Aribisogan’s) voice was played.
But Aribisogan described the audio tape which was played at the panel sitting to indict him as “a superimposed voice-over to tarnish his reputation.” According to him, his predicament was orchestrated by mischief-makers in the Assembly.
Speaking with newsmen, in a telephone chat on Wednesday shortly after appearing before the panel, Aribisogan disclosed that he was questioned whether he met Kashamu and Falana before the controversial audio was played to him.
While affirming his loyalty to Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Aribisogan said he has no confidence in the panel because its outcome is already predetermined.
Aribisogan said: “The so-called audio was a superimposed voice-over to tarnish my reputation. At the panel’s sitting, there was a presentation of inaudible voice-over claiming that they recognized my voice and I discarded it as a cheap blackmail.
“They asked me in the course of investigation whether I have met Buruji and I told them that the last time I met with Buruji was when I followed Mr. Governor and Hon. Omotoso was there too but it is unfortunate that he (Omotoso) wanted to make a political gain out of this saga.
“Since then, I have not met Buruji as a person either secretly or openly. I have no confidence in the panel but because of the constitutional provision, I have to attend the panel to clear my name.
“I appeared before the panel to tell them that I never met with Buruju and I never met with Falana as alleged. I am part and parcel of this government from inception and I remain a loyal party member.
“Changing committee chairmen is a routine exercise but I suspect a foul play that the outcome of the panel is already predetermined.”
When asked whether he has been invited by the governor on the crisis, Aribisogan said: “This is clearly an Assembly matter the governor has not invited me but I am expecting the members of the panel to go and investigate where the shenanigans are coming from.
“The whole saga is an immolation to destroy me and put me in a political quagmire. Look at my pedigree where I am coming from before passing judgment on me.
“Having served the government, is it possible for me to be holding meeting with Buruji and Falana and work against a government of which I am part?
“I want to challenge the person who claimed to have recorded my voice to be bold enough to face me. The plot was executed by one man in the House to bring me down.”