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Ondo Speaker, Three Others Risk Jail Term Over Contempt Of Court

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The Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Bamidele Oloyeloogun and three members of the state Assembly have been summoned by the State High Court to show course why they should not be jailed for disobedience to the court’s order.

Three other members of the assembly who risk jail terms include the Clerk of the Assembly, Parliamentary Secretary, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, and the Deputy Majority Leader, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi.

Recall that the Court presided over by Justice Ademola Bola had ordered the reinstatement of four members of the Assembly who were suspended over their refusal to sign the impeachment notice against the deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi.

The four lawmakers the court asked the assembly leadership to reinstate and paid N5m each for their unlawful suspension include the deputy speaker, Rt Hon Iroju Ogundeji, Hon Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle.

However, the Assembly presided over by Oleyeloogun approached the Court of Appeal to halt the implementation of the orders of the lower court.

But the appellate court in its judgment uphold the judgment of the lower court and ordered the reinstatement of the lawmaker to their offices and the payment of their entitlements from the day of their unlawful suspension.

Apart from directing the reinstatement of the lawmakers, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye of the Appeal Court in her judgement ordered the appellants to pay the sum of N250.000.00 jointly and severally to the lawmakers as damages.

Despite the orders of both the lower and appellate courts, the four lawmakers have not been allowed into the plenary session of the Assembly nor paid their entitlements.

Dissatisfied with the action of the leadership of the Assembly, the four lawmakers through their counsel, Mr Olabanjo Ayenakin filed contempt charges against the Speaker and three others.

In the notice of consequence of disobedience to order of the court filed at the weekend, the lawmakers said unless the Assembly obey the direction contained in the judgment of the court, they would be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison.

The notice read; a declaration that by the provision of section 36(1) and 2(a) and b of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and rules and standing orders of the Ondo State House of Assembly and the Code of conduct of the House, the indefinite suspension of the claimants from the House of Assembly was unlawful, null and void.

An order setting aside the indefinite suspension of the claimants from House of Assembly being unlawful and ultra vires of the power of the defendants, an order reinstating the claimants to their positions as members of House, restoring entitlements to them and the payment of N5 million as damages for the wrongful and unconstitutional indefinite suspension.

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