The Ondo State House of Assembly has defended its non-payment of the salaries of its suspended deputy speaker, Iroju Ogundeji, after Mr Ogundeji said he was owed for the last six months.
Mr Ogundeji was one of the four lawmakers suspended by the leadership of the house in the wake of moves to impeach the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi.
Although a court had quashed the suspension of Mr Ogundeji and his colleagues for being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, the house has yet to regularise Mr Ogundeji’s reinstatement and pay his entitlements.
The embattled deputy speaker took to social media on Friday to vent his frustrations over his inability to receive his pay as ordered by the court.
Mr Ogundeji, who represents Odigbo Constituency 1 in the State Assembly, wondered why his entitlements were not paid despite the Court order declaring his suspension illegal.
The lawmaker maintained that it was wrong for the House’s leadership to withhold his salaries and other legitimate entitlements.
“I will remain who I am no matter whose ox is gored. I will not join multitudes to do evil. I shall continue to maintain my untainted Integrity,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
“In fact, no amount of inducement, intimidation, threat and oppression would change my conscience.
“My six months’ salaries and legitimate entitlements are withheld by the power that be, despite Court order declaring their action illegal, null and void and unconstitutional.”
But the assembly through its spokesman, Olugbenga Omole, said Mr Ogundeji was not entitled to salaries since he was suspended.
“When you are suspended, you are not paid,” Mr Omole said. “He was suspended, and he went to court and got judgement, but we have appealed the judgment.”
He also said that it was unnecessary for him to respond to the suspended deputy speaker since he did not officially write to the house, but chose to vent his concerns on the social media.
Mr Ogundeji had led eight other lawmakers to reject the impeachment of the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, who wanted to contest the governorship election against his principal after dumping the All Progressives Congress under which he was elected deputy governor in 2016.
The court gave its judgement in August, invalidating the suspension and awarding N5 million to Mr Ogundeji.
The other three suspended along with him, were Tomide Akinribid, Favour Tomomowo and Wale Williams. Their suspension had also been nullified by the court.
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