Suspended Ondo lawmakers barred from assembly complex despite Appeal Court order

There was tension at the Ondo State House of Assembly on Thursday as suspended lawmakers reinstated by the Appeal Court sitting in Akure were prevented from gaining entrance into the Assembly complex despite the court order.

The four lawmakers who arrived at the entrance of the House of Assembly in the morning were turned by the security men at the gate who said they were acting on orders from above.

One of the security men confirmed that they were acting on order earlier issued by the leadership of the house that none of the suspended lawmakers should be allowed into the assembly premises.

Three of the four affected lawmakers including the Deputy Speaker, Mr Iroju Ogundeji, Mrs Favour Tomomewo and Mr Wale Williams, were members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who opposed the impeachment of the embattled deputy governor of the state, Hon. Agboola Ajayi.

The lawmakers challenged their suspension at the State High Court where they were reinstated while the leadership of the House of Assembly headed to the Appeal Court.

But the Court of Appeal on Wednesday declared the action of the leadership of the house as illegal, dismissing the suit and ordering the assembly to reinstate the embattled lawmakers and pay them all their entitlements.

Speaking on the development, the Deputy Speaker, Ogundeji said the assembly leadership’s directive to the security men at the assembly to bar them from entering the assembly complex is in contempt of the court.

He said the action prevented them from performing their legislative duties, despite having a court judgement.

He said: “Yesterday ( Wednesday), the Appellate Court ruled that the motion brought before it concerning our suspension was frivolous and ordered that we should be reinstated to do our legislative duties immediately without hindrance. That is why we were here but on getting here (Assembly). We saw that everywhere was locked and we were not allowed to enter.”

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Mr Gbenga Omole said the House had not been furnished with the copy of the judgment.

Omole said the suspended lawmakers are returning to the Assembly complex without the copy of the judgement, saying they are only mischievous and trying to embarrass the leadership of the House of Assembly.

“As I am speaking with you, we only read the judgment on the social media but we have not got the hard copy of the judgment.

“When they were coming, they failed to bring the copy of the judgment along. But because they are mischievous, that is why they didn’t bring the copy of judgment along,” Omole explained.

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