Deputy Gov’s Impeachment: Court Nullifies Suspension Of Dep Speaker, Others

An Akure High Court on, Friday, quashed the suspension of four members of the Ondo State House of Assembly who refused to sign the impeachment notice of the state Deputy Governor, Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi.

The affected lawmakers are the Deputy Speaker, Ogundeji Iroju, the only woman in the House, Favour Tomomowo , Wale Williams and Tomide Akinribido representing Ondo Constituencies I and II respectively.

The lawmakers were suspended for refusing to sign the impeachment notice of the deputy governor an action which eventually stalled the impeachment moves.

While three of the suspended lawmakers, Ogundeji, Tomomowo and Williams are members of All Progressives Congress(APC), Akinribido is the only member of the House on the platform of Zenith Labour Party(ZLP).

Displeased with the decision of the House led by Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the suspended lawmakers through their attorney, Banjo Ayelakin, sought the protection of the court against their unlawful suspension from the House.

In his judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola described the suspension as illegal, null and void.

Justice Bola held that the House of Assembly as well as other members have no power to suspend any member of the Assembly.

The judge in the suit that has the Assembly, the Speaker, the Deputy Majority Leader, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, the parliamentary secretary,, Abayomi Akinruntan, and the Clerk of the House, Bode Adeyelu, as defendants held that the suspension of the four anti-impeachment lawmakers violates sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.

The court ruled that the lawmakers must be reinstated into their various positions with immediate effect.

Justice Bola ordered that a sum of N5 Million should be paid to each of the lawmakers as damages.

Reacting to the judgement, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kola Alawoye, described the ruling as no victor no vanquished.

He urged all members of the House to unite and work for the progress of the state.

Deputy Speaker, Ogundeji Iroju, charged all members of the House to work together and ensure the House operates independently according to the provisions of the constitution.

Wale Williams described the judgement as a pointer to the fact that the speaker and other members of the House who connived together and pronounced our suspension should know that their actions should be in consonant with the constitution of Nigeria and what the rules and proceedings of the House say.

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