There was a mild drama in Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday as the Speaker Rt (Hon) Bamidele David Oloyelogun, was impeached amid heavy rancour.
The removal of Oloyelogun and his deputy, Rt.Hon. Ogundeji Iroju at a plenary sitting inside the hallow chamber of the Assembly , caused pandemonium at the parliament.
The embattled Speaker and his Deputy was removed by eighteen out of the twenty-six lawmakers of the House.
The Speaker, Rt (Hon) Oloyelogun representing Ifedore constituency and the Deputy, Hon. Ogundeji who is representing Odigbo constituency I, were removed over allegations of “gross misconduct, incompetence and the exhaustion of the Budgetary allocation running into N1.5 Billion”.
The lawmaker representing Akure Constituency II, Sunday Olajide, moved the motion for the impeachment of the Speaker and his deputy.
Despite the a rowdy session that followed the motion moved by Olajide, Hon.Oluyede Feyide, representing Ose Constituency immediately seconded the motion.
Following the impeachment, the lawmakers elected Hon. Olamide George who is representing the Akure North Constituency as the new Speaker.
George was elected alongside Abimbola Fajolu from Ile-Oluji/Oke Igbo Constituency as a new Deputy Speaker as both men were sworn in by the Clerk of the Assembly, Boye Adeyelu.
Addressing journalists after he was sworn in, the new Speaker, George said that the impeachment of the two leaders was carried out after the discovery of the “exhaustion of the Budgetary allocation running into N1.5 Billion”.
The new Speaker added that the impeachment was also aimed to correcting some certain lapses in the House and not to witch-hunting Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
“There are lot of undercovers going on the house and these are reasons why members have to come together and changed the leadership.
“In line with the rules of the House, two third which is eighteen members signed the impeachment of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker.
“So, it is a new dawn for us. We are not fighting the government. I belong to the APC and I stand with my party” he said.
Speaking on the impeachment, the Chairman of the Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Hon. Fatai Olotu, from Akoko North East Constituency said Oloyelogun and Ogundeji were both impeached in accordance with the rules and regulations guiding the Assembly .
Hon. Olotu explained that both men have showed “incompetence” by running the finance allocated to the Assembly aground with recourse to the other lawmakers in the House.
He added that both the impeached Speaker and his Deputy have also exhausted the “budgetary allocation” to the parliament house running to N1.5 Billion within just six months.
“In accordance with the rule guiding the house and by the power conferred on members of the house, the house as at today has successfully impeached the former speaker and deputy speaker.
“Immediately after their removal, Rt. Hon. Olamide George from Akure North state constituency was elected as speaker and was duly sworn in by clerk of the house. Rt. Hon. Abimbola Fajolu representing Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo was also sworn in.
“For the avoidance of doubt, 18 members for their removal, that’s to say that’s two-third of the members of the house, so we’ve fulfilled that requirement.
“There are many reasons for their removal, but I want you to know that changing leadership is an inherent right of the members of the house, but this former speaker of the house has shown great incompetence. The have run the house aground financially.
“Just for for an instance as at June this year, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker have exhausted all budgetary allocation for the house with the knowledge of the member which is to the tune of 1.5 billion Naira.
“It is when we stumbled on this, a budget that is supposed to run for a year that exhausted it within six months, which was already exhausted as at June this year.
“They never followed due process. If you have to run the finances of the house we have cash allocation. It’s the parliament that must approve such monies not the sole responsibility of the speaker.
“The Speaker and the Deputy are grossly incompetent in running the affairs of the house and they are in the habit of blackmailing members, because they know that their time is over.
“We have even informed the executive that we don’t want them again but they have been telling the executive that once they are removed, the governor would be removed.
“I have been in this House for some time, there’s no nexus between removing the leadership of house and that of the Governor.
“Because the governor has not committed any impeachable offences. To best of our knowledge the governor has not done anything wrong.
“So you were elected by members, if the they say they no longer want you, then you comply. We have never seen that kind of leadership that have run the house in the manner that does not have regards for the house.
“They are lots of other things we would address the press in due course. But the house has carried out its constitutional role. We don’t have any problem with the governor, we don’t have any problem with the executive. The executive should stay out of this.
“The last time we impeached the deputy speaker, the pressure was on us. The pressure was just too much we have to reverse it. The reversal was unconstitutional, it was illegal. In law Iroju has ceased to be deputy speaker since May”.
Few minutes after the impeachment , hoodlums who were members of the National Union of Road Transport (NURTW) invaded the Assembly complex.
The armed thugs, who were led by the NURTW Chairman, Jacob Dabo popularly known as “Idajo” took over the premises of the Assembly.
Many of them who were armed with dangerous weapons such as sticks, stones, bottles and guns attacked journalists and staffs members of the Assembly.
Mr. Abiodun Taiwo, a journalist with the African Independent Television (AIT) and his counterpart, Ade Ilori of the Independent Television (ITV) were molested and beaten to pulp by the ramping hoodlums.
The hoodlums had a field day at the Assembly premises despite the deployment of heavily armed security agencies which included men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Ondo state and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Gbenga Adeyanju, the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, who led his men to the Assembly complex to restore peace, watch helplessly as the thugs beat up those on sight and destroyed properties.
Oloyelogun, Impeached Speaker Kick
Meanwhile, the Impeached Speaker, Oloyelogun has kicked against his impeachment by the lawmakers.
Speaking after he was impeached, Oloyelogun said he remained the Speaker of the Assembly together with his Deputy, Hon. Ogundeji Iroju .
His words :”I still remain the Speaker. what they did is against the law because no quorum was formed and I would regard this issue as an internal problem in the House of Assembly which is going to be resolved soonest.
“As at now, I still remain the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly while Rt (Hon) Ogundeji Iroju also still remains the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and would change us”
He, however, denied that eighteen lawmakers of the Assembly carried the impeachment against him and the Deputy Speaker.
“That is not true, I meant only 13 people when I came in. So, it is just a lie that 18 lawmakers impeached us and the MAZE which is even the symbol Assembly is still with me”.
Meanwhile, like a commando style the impeached Speaker, Oloyelogun later resumed back to the Assembly with some security backup to carry out legislative sittings at the floor of the parliament.
During the sitting, Hon.Oloyelogun declared that those lawmakers who carried out his impeachment have been suspended from the house for “unruly behavior”.
He mentioned those suspended in the house as – Hon. Malachi Coker, Hon. Araoyinbo Joseph, Hon. Ade Adeniyi, Hon. Ebiwonjumi Sola, Hon. Ajumotokin Olusegun, Hon. Akintimehin Tuyi, Rt (Hon) Jumoke Akindele, Hon. Fasogbon Akinyele, Hon. Akinsoyinu Olugbenga, Hon. Arowele Samuel, Hon. Obadiah Vicent, Hon. Olotu Fatai, Hon. Olamide George, Hon. Mukaila Musa, Hon. Abimbola Fajulo.
He, however, adjourned all sitting in the Assembly indefinitely noting that those suspended should not be found within the premises of the Assembly.