Impeachment saga: Ondo Assembly suspends Deputy Speaker as Majority Leader resigns
The Ondo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, suspended the Deputy Speaker, Mr Iroju Ogundeji, for alleged gross misconduct, while the Majority Leader, Mr Jamiu Maito, voluntarily resigned his position.
Ogundeji and Maito are representing Odigbo Constituency I and Akoko North-West Constituency I respectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the assembly also suspended two other members, Mr Adewale Adewinle, representing Ondo West Constituency II and Mrs Favour Tomomewo, representing Ilaje Constituency II.
NAN also reports that the letters of suspension were read by Mr Bode Adeyelu, the Clerk of the assembly during the plenary session.
The Speaker, Mr Bamidele Oleyelogun, said that the suspended members violated the assembly’s standing rules, adding that this could bring disrepute to the house.
Oleyelogun, who noted that the business of the house would henceforth be taken more seriously, asked the suspended members to submit all the documents of the assembly in their possession and stay away from the complex.
NAN, however, reports that the sitting of the lawmakers came to an abrupt end, as the session became rowdy when the suspension of the affected lawmakers was put into voice votes.
Speaking with newsmen after the plenary, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olugbenga Omole, explained that the assembly resolved to suspend the three lawmakers during the parliamentary meeting held after Tuesday’s sitting.
Omole said that majority of the members of the assembly endorsed the resolution passed on the affected lawmakers.
In his reaction, the suspended deputy speaker fingered Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Mr Ade Adetimehin, the state Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), as the masterminds of their suspension.
He hinged the development on what he called their refusal to support the impeachment process of the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.
He explained that there were no allegations against them, adding also that the speaker did not give them the opportunity to defend themselves.
Ogundeji, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene “so that the legislature will not become an appendage of the executive.”
In her reaction, Tomomewo, another suspended lawmaker, claimed that due process was not followed in their purported suspension.
Also speaking, Maito explained that his resignation signified his position regarding the supremacy of APC in the state.
The former majority leader, who said that he played politics with conscience, therefore added that he could not support impeachment move against the deputy governor.
According to him, he is giving honour to the party in order to avoid embarrassment.
NAN reports the lawmakers also committed a commissioner-nominee, Mr Idowu Otetubi, into the House Selection Committee for scrutiny.