Ondo speaker impeached over alleged fraud
Less than four weeks to the inauguration of the Ondo State governor-elect, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, members of the State Assembly have suspended the Speaker of the House, Jumoke Akindele, and her Deputy, Akin Olotu, over allegation of N15 million fraud.
The suspension of the Speaker was effected by 15 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and five member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) around 6p.m. yesterday at the Assembly Complex along Igbatoro Road, Akure.
Consequently, an Acting Speaker and Deputy Speaker, Malachi Coker and Ayodele Arowele, respectively, were hurriedly elected, while Olamide George was elected as the Majority Leader, as the lawmakers adjourned after the brief sitting.
Although the full details of the removal of the two principal offers were not known at press time, it was gathered that the 26-member House had been enmeshed in internal crises since March last year, when Akindele and Olotu were first impeached by 18 out of the 26 members for alleged highhandedness.
But the intervention of Governor Olusegun Mimiko saved the principal officers. According to the lawmakers, their suspension was sequel to the withdrawal of the sum of N15millon by Akindele.
The paymaster was said to have been caught by the lawmakers with the cash at the premises of the Assembly and he allegedly told them he was acting on the instruction of the suspended speaker.
The House convoked an emergency session about 5pm and moved that the Assembly leadership under Akindele had failed the lawmakers, as they were not aware of the approval of the said sum.
Olugbenga Araoyinbo, who confirmed the development, said 20 lawmakers signed the impeachment, which was carried out within the premises of the Assembly, with the Clerk, Bode Akinyelu, in attendance and the Mace used as the insignia of authority.