An air uncertainty hung over Wednesday’s impeachment episode of the Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker, Jumoke Akindele, as some members claimed the action had been reversed.
Several hours of meeting between the state governor, Olusegun Mimiko, and aggrieved lawmakers ended with no clear statement on the matter.
But a hurriedly organised press briefing at the governor’s office, put together by the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, suggested that the crisis had been temporarily resolved in favour of the embattled speaker.
Addressing journalists, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Olamide George, said the lawmakers had agreed to end the crisis in the interest of the people of the state.
Mr. George, who was flanked by a member of his committee, Siji Akinjose, admitted that a sizeable number of house members on Tuesday met “on some burning issues touching on the leadership of the house”.
He however said that on Wednesday morning, members met to review the decision taken Tuesday night and resolved to allow Mrs. Akindele to continue in office.
“Before plenary today, Wednesday 9th March, 2016, members, at a larger and official gathering met to review the situation and consequently resolved to allow the status quo ante on the leadership of Ondo State House of Assembly as at 7th March 2016 to remain,” Mr. George stated.
“The House of Assembly remains united, cohesive and alive to its constitutional responsibilities.
“The issue of leadership is an internal affair and has been treated as such.”
The lawmakers refused to take questions from journalists after the briefing.
Meanwhile, at plenary, the atmosphere was tense with armed security lining the gallery to cover the proceedings presided over by Mrs. Akindele.
Iroju Ogundeji, who was chosen by the aggrieved members to replace Mrs. Akindele, was conspicuously absent at plenary attended 23 of the House’s 26 members.
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Clement Faboyede, was also at the plenary to monitor proceedings and to ensure that nothing outside the arrangement reached at closed-door meeting occurred.
Majority of the members did not speak at the session, leaving the floor for the presentation of a report on the 2016 appropriation and the seconders of the motion to adopt and pass it into law.
The speaker was in a pensive mood throughout the 30 minutes that the session lasted, and the committee treated only two items on the order paper and adjourned sitting till Thursday, March 10.
As each of the house members moved around the complex, two armed police escorts followed them about, suggesting fears that the situation could degenerate in the coming days.
Mrs. Akindele refused to speak to journalists.
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