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Ondo Assembly sacks ex-deputy speaker, declares seat vacant over defection

By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure
01 April 2022   |   4:01 am
The Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday, sacked its former Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji, and declared his seat vacant over his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

• Orders INEC to conduct by-election within 90 days
• Lawmaker says House acted contrary to court order

The Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday, sacked its former Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji, and declared his seat vacant over his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Assembly, at its plenary, presided over by the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct by-election in Odigbo Constituency I within 90 days.

The Speaker noted that having resigned his membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC), Ogundeji had violated the relevant portion of the law, hence should vacate his seat as representative of Odigbo Constituency I in the State Assembly.

He ordered that all the benefits and entitlements accruing to his office should be stopped immediately, while a letter to that effect should be forwarded to the accountant-general of the state.
BUT Ogundeji, who maintained that he truly ditched the ruling party for the opposition PDP, said the Assembly had acted contrary to the order of the court.

“APC deregistered me during its registration exercise sometime last year and I have to belong to a political party. That was why I join PDP.

“It is no longer news that the matter is already before a court of competent jurisdiction, that is a Federal High Court.

“The court had served the Speaker, through the Clerk of the House, notice against declaring my seat vacant and that no action should be taken in respect of the matter.

“So, if it is true that they have declared my seat vacant, then they have acted in contravention of the court order, which is tantamount to contempt of court,” Ogundeji said.