The Ondo State House of Assembly has reinstated four suspended lawmakers during its plenary sitting on Monday, the suspension said to be in obedience to orders given by the High and Appeal courts in the state.
Penpushing reports that Speaker of the House,Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun, made the announcement and when contacted,Hon Tomide Akinribido , one of the reinstated lawmakers, confirmed the development but declined further with journalists.
The assembly, it is recalled has been in disarray for over six months following the defection of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, from the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later to Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) where he contested as the party candidate for the October 10 Governorship election.
Penpushing further reports that, following defection of Ajayi, there was move to impeach as some members of the assembly signed the impeachment process but nine lawmakers refused to sign then, and out of the nine lawmakers the assembly indefinitely suspended four:
The suspended include: Hon Irolu Ogundeji, Deputy Speaker, representing Odigbo 1 Constituency; Hon Tomide Akinribido, representing Ondo West 1 constituency; Hon Favour Tomomewo, representing Ilaje II constituency and Hon Adewale Adewinle, representing Ondo West II constituency.
Penpushing also reports the suspended lawmakers thereafter sued the assembly before a High Court in Akure, while the judge who presided over the matter, Justice Ademola Bola, ordered their reinstatement and asked the assembly to pay N5 million each to the lawmakers for their unlawful suspension, but the Speaker approached the Court of Appeal for a stay of execution.
The appeal court, on November 20, upheld the decision of the lower court, while the appeal court judge, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, also asked that appellants should pay the sum of N250,000 jointly to the lawmakers as damages, but rather than obey court orders, the assembly on November 24, voted to impeach the Deputy Speaker( Ogundeji) for alleged “gross misconduct”.
Penpushing reports that, the speaker stated that 20 lawmakers signed the impeachment proceedings and that it required 18 to form two-thirds of the house, while nine others came out to dissociate themselves from the impeachment.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, it was is not clear whether the lawmakers will drop all matters in court, following their reinstatement.
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