By: Ade Adeleke
An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has reinstated the Deputy Speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly, Iroju Ogundeji and two other lawmakers who were recently suspended over alleged misconducts by the Assembly.
The court reversed the illegal and unlawful suspension of the members and ordered Ondo State House of Assembly to immediately pay all their entitlements and also pay them five million naira compensation to each of them.
Justice Ademola Bola,while giving the ruling, maintained that it was illegal to prevent an elected legislator from duly representing his/her constituency.
SUNSHINETRUTH reported that the house had suspended the three pro-Ondo Deputy Governor lawmakers, namely: Rt.Hon Iroju Ogundeji, Hon. Wale Williams from Ondo west constituency 2 and Hon. Favour Tomomewo from Ilaje 2.
The three lawmakers and the only ZLP member, Hon Tomide Akinribido from Ondo west constituency 1 were among nine lawmakers who opposed impeachment plot against the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi two months ago.
Akinribido is still in court, challenging his suspension for his alleged social media posts against the Assembly.
The anti-impeachment lawmakers were suspended for refusing to sign the impeachment notice served on deputy governor who defected from All Progressives Congress(APC).
The refusal of the lawmakers and five others stalled the plan to illegally impeach the Deputy Governor.
Displeased with the decision of the House led by Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, the suspended lawmakers through their lawyer, Banjo Ayelakin, sought the protection of the court against their unlawful suspension from the House.
The judge in the verdict held that the suit which has the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Deputy Majority Leader, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, the Parliamentary Secretary,, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, and the Clerk of the House, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, as defendants violates sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.
The court held that the lawmakers must be reinstated into their positions with immediate effect.
Justice Bola ordered that a sum of N5million should be paid to each of the lawmakers as damages.
Reacting to the judgement, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye, who spoke on behalf of the state government, described the judgment as no victor no vanquished.
He urged all members of the House to unite and work for the progress of the state.
Deputy Speaker, Ogundeji Iroju who spoke on behalf of others charged all members of the House to work together and ensure the House operates independently according to the provision of the constitution.