Chief Edward Onoja, the former Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, was on Monday sworn-in as the new deputy Governor of the state following the removal of the former number two man Elder Simon Achuba by the State House of Assembly last Friday.
Blueprint reports that the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, performed the inaugural ceremony with administration of the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance on the new deputy governor on Monday inside government House, Lokoja.
Earlier in the day, the Legislative Assembly had at a special session held around about 8 am on Monday, screened and approved Onoja as worthy and capable of the position following his nomination by governor Yahaya Bello.
It would be recalled that Achuba was removed on Friday, 18 October, following submission of report of a Judicial Panel of Inquiry constituted by the Chief Judge to investigate allegations of gross misconduct leveled against him by the legislative assembly.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Governor Yahaya Bello, said his joy knew no bounds because history was in the making with him and his “twin brother” becoming numbers one and two citizens of the state.
Bello said the moment was not that of celebration but rejoicing saying, “We will rejoice. We are being spur to do more.
“We are simply pencils in the hands of God almighty to turn around the fortunes of Kogi State. It is work in progress. We have a lot ahead of us”, he said.
Bello said all that happened preceding the inauguration was in the interest of the state saying, “In order that no constitutional crisis arises and no vacuum is created, all that happened needed to happen. That is the summary.”
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, Speaker of the House, Kolawole explained that the House received a petition on the 7th of August 2019 with certain allegations against the Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Elder Simon Achuba.
“Consequent upon that, we deliberated and we found him guilty of so many of those allegations. We at the same time directed the state Chief Judge to constitute a Judicial Panel to investigate the matter.
“And by the grace of God on 18th of October, we received the report of the committee but the committee reports were in series one, two, and three which one cannot be at variance with the other.
“We looked at the committee’s report critically and coupled with the acceptance of the former Deputy Governor on affidavit and oath that he committed certain offences, we, in the House of Assembly found him guilty of those allegations against him. He stands impeached.
“On the same day we received communication from his excellency see a point in shift Edward Onoja as a replacement.
“Constitutionally, according to section 191(3)(c), we have performed our constitutional role by screening him and we found him worthy to be sworn-in as the new deputy governor of Kogi State.
In his post-inaugural speech, Onoja said he wholeheartedly accept the offer as not only the divine but timely and thank the former deputy governor for allowing God to quicken his destiny.