Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, says there is no plan to impeach Philip Shaibu, his deputy.
Mr Shaibu had filed a suit at a federal high court in Abuja to prevent an alleged impeachment plot against him.
In an ex parte motion filed on July 28, Shaibu asked the court to restrain the defendants from preventing him from carrying out his role as deputy governor.
Obaseki, the inspector-general of police, state security service, speaker of the Edo house of assembly, and chief judge of the state, were listed as 1st to 5th defendants.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday when he hosted Edo north leaders, Obaseki alleged that the court action taken by Shuaibu was a preemptive move ahead of his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki further alleged that Shuaibu has been actively engaging with members of the APC at the national and state level negotiating his way into the ruling party.
He added that the embattled deputy is on the verge of finalising his defection to the APC.
“Let me put it on record that I am not aware of any plot or any scheme to impeach the deputy governor, comrade Philip Shaibu. I have also checked and there was no such plan,” Obaseki said.
“So, the court action taken, for me, is a thing of shock and disappointment. I am trying to reflect on the move made by somebody that I have given a broad latitude to do his work as deputy governor. So, for him to take this kind of action is shocking.
“It’s clear what has happened in the last few weeks. It is a preemptive move for him to conclude what he has started.
“Those of you from Akoko-Edo can recall that when we were discussing the issue of your local government chairman and that of Owan, there was a lot of resistance from you on the candidates he wanted to impose on you.
“I listened to your entreaties and thought that what you were recommending was fair. How can he be recommending the son of an APC leader in that local government? You resisted and I saw reason and acceded to your request.
“The next day, I saw on social media that he was in Abuja robbing minds with the opposition party. I have heard for months now that he has been in closed consultation with friends from another party because he was not sure that you, the leaders of PDP, will give him the ticket as governor in 2024.”
‘SHUAIBU NEVER DISCUSSED HIS AMBITION WITH ME’
Obaseki added that Shuaibu had never discussed his ambition to become governor with him.
“I must state here that Philip Shaibu has never had the courtesy to discuss his ambition with me. The last time we spoke of my successor after the house of assembly election, I did say that we should be patient and that our task is to try and finish well and conclude all the projects we started,” he said.
“It’s only when we do this right that we will have the support of the people for my successor.
“I believe that this action by him is a preemptive move to get a court order, keep his ticket and move to another party. I think it’s unfair for our party.
“We don’t need this sort of crisis. I have been getting calls all over the world and it’s rather sad that somebody who is part of an administration will do this to the administration because of his personal ambition.”
Obaseki thanked the leaders for their support and urged them to stay united.