The bitter fight in the Ondo State House of Assembly has taken another turn as the speaker, Bamidele Oleyeloogun, and three others are set to be arraigned for contempt of court.
The three others to be arraigned alongside the speaker are the clerk of the house, Bode Adeyele; the parliamentary secretary, Abayomi Akinruntan and the deputy-majority leader, Oladiji Adesanmi.
PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday exclusively obtained court papers filed at the Ondo State High Court against the speaker and others for their refusal to reinstate the four suspended lawmakers despite court orders.
The four lawmakers are deputy speaker Iroju Ogundeji, Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle.
They were suspended for rejecting the impeachment plans of the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, who left the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) before the October 10 governorship election in the state.
Court orders reinstatement
The embattled lawmakers had approached a state high court in Akure on the argument that their refusal to sign the impeachment notice served on the deputy governor, Mr Ajayi, should not warrant their suspension.
The court presided by Ademola Bola then ordered the reinstatement of the four lawmakers.
The court also asked the assembly leadership to pay N5 million each to the lawmakers for their unlawful suspension.
Mr Oleyeloogun, in a reaction to the high court order, approached the Court of Appeal for a stay of execution but the appeal court on November 20 upheld the decision of the lower court.
The appeal court judge, Oyebisi Omoleye, also ordered that the appellants should pay the sum of N250,000 jointly to the lawmakers as damages.
Amidst orders by the high court and the appellate court, the leadership of the assembly continues to bar the four lawmakers from plenary sessions and denied their entitlements.
They have, however, through their counsel, Olabanjo Ayenakin, filed contempt charges against the speaker and three others.
The lawmakers said except the assembly obeys the direction contained in the judgment of the court, they would be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.
The notice seen by PREMIUM TIMES party read, “a declaration that by the provision of section 36(1) and 2(a) and b of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and rules and standing orders of the Ondo State House of Assembly and the Code of conduct of the House, the indefinite suspension of the claimants from the House of Assembly was unlawful, null and void.”
The case is expected to be heard on December 17.
PREMIUM TIMES on Friday reported how the lawmakers also asked the court to stop the passing of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s budget for the 2021 fiscal year.
Our correspondent’s efforts to speak with the chairman of the assembly’s committee on information, Gbenga Omole, were not successful as he did not respond to calls and text messages.
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