‘We are waiting for Mimiko to present 2017 budget’
Opposinng faction in the ongoing leadership crisis in Ondo State House of Assembly loyal to the Acting Speaker, Malachi Coker has called on governor Olusegun Mimiko, to present the 2017 Budget.
The faction said it was waiting for the governor to present the budget.The spokesman of the Coker faction, Mr. Ogundeji Iroju said this yesterday in Akure, as he disclosed that the faction is not against Mimiko’s presentation of the budget. He maintained that the faction was only opposed to Jumoke Akindele’s claim to the Assembly’s leadership.
For the past two weeks, the lawmakers have been split into two factions due to the purported impeachment of Akindele, over alleged misappropriation of N15 million made against her by 14 members loyal to Coker.
Iroju said, “The genesis of the Assembly crisis is the alleged fraud of N15 million leveled against Akindele and that was what led to her impeachment for the second time.
“You will recollect that Akindele has earlier been impeached 10 months ago before Mimiko intervened with the intention that she will turn a new leave. But now we have elected another speaker, deputy and majority leader to replace the former principal officers.”
He explained further on the botched attempt by Mimiko to present the controversial 2017 Budget, which eventually led to the attack against the governor’s convoy in error by some protesters on Wednesday. Some of the perpetrators have been remanded in Olokuta Prison.
“On Monday, we got an information that Governor Mimiko will be coming to the House on Wednesday to present the 2017 Appropriation Bill and we arrived the Assembly waiting for him because that is one of our constitutional duties to accept appropriation bill from the governor and give the bill accelerated passage.
“Eventually the governor did not come and what the law says is that only the quorum of the members can sit at any giving time at the Assembly and the quorum of 26 members is nine. The members that sat were even more than the needed quorum. We were 13 in number.
“We found out later the reason the governor did not come to present his budget, we were told that he has another emergency meeting in Abuja. We are waiting for Mimiko to come and present his budget because we know that if the budget is passed into law, it will have positive impact on the masses.”
He said the crisis was purely the Assembly’s affairs and has nothing to do with the party. “We are defending the mandate of the people and not about party because the people that voted for us are not only PDP members.
Nonetheless, the former deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Ali Olanusi cautioned Mimiko against interfering in the affairs of the lawmakers. He said the governor must recognise Coker as the new speaker of the House.
Olanusi, who was impeached by the same lawmakers in 2015 after defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to All Progressives Congress (APC), said Mimiko has no moral justification to continue to recognise Akindele as speaker.
Meanwhile, the PDP Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, faulted the change of leadership in the Assembly describing it as a dramatic script written by the APC and acted by the lawmakers.
Fadaka noted that the lawmakers supporting Coker, who include the five APC and eight PDP members, erred in the face of law, morality and contrary to the constitutional mandates given to them to represent their various constituencies.
According to him, “The faction loyal to Coker was illegal and the constitutional leadership of the House still rests on the oars of Akindele as speaker, while Fatai Olotu and Ifedayo Akinsoyinu still keep their positions as deputy speaker and majority leader respectively.”