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Ondo State lawmakers oppose factional speaker’s suspension

By Oluwaseun Akingboye, Akure
21 December 2018   |   4:07 am
Eighteen Ondo State House of Assembly members, yesterday, shunned the move by the speaker, Bamidele Oloyeloogun, to suspend the factional speaker, Olamide George.

[FILE PHOTO] Ondo Assembly

Eighteen Ondo State House of Assembly members, yesterday, shunned the move by the speaker, Bamidele Oloyeloogun, to suspend the factional speaker, Olamide George.

Written petitions had accused George of addressing himself as the speaker of the house in a letter to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Abuja.

In the letter read at the floor of the house, 16 lawmakers, who had purportedly impeached the leadership of the house last month, asked the DMO not to give the state government loan or do any business with it.

Some of the lawmakers that purportedly signed the impeachment notice, who were present at the plenary, claimed that their signatures were forged.

Oloyeloogun lamented that the letter brought the house to disrepute; hence he constituted a five-member committee headed by Sule Maito to investigate the letter and petitions against George.

Consequently, he declared the letter to DMO null and void, charging the debt office to continue to do business with the state government.

His bid to suspend George met a brick wall when the 18 lawmakers at the floor of the house refused to support the suspension.

Former deputy speaker, Fatai Olotu, and erstwhile majority leader, Gbenga Akinsoyinnu, who were among the 16 lawmakers that impeached the leadership, pleaded for leniency.

They asked the speaker to allow the committee to do its work and give George fair hearing.

Similarly, the deputy speaker, Ogundeji Iroju, who was allegedly impeached with the speaker, urged the leadership of the house to rescind the suspension pending the committee’s report.

Oloyeloogun revoked the suspension and tasked the committee members to report their findings to the assembly within three weeks, adjourning till January 11, 2019.

The majority leader, Olugbenga Araoyinbo, who was among the 16 lawmakers that supported George as factional speaker, also denied the letter to the DMO.

According to him, the same signatures used for the impeachment notice in November, which Sunday Olajide claimed was forged, were used for the letter.