January 21, 2021

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Court summons Ondo speaker, others for alleged contempt

2 min read

By Osagie Otabor, Akure

An Akure High Court has summoned Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker Bamidele Oleyeloogun and three other lawmakers to appear before it to show cause why they should not be jailed for disobedience to court order.

Others who risk being jailed for contempt are the Clerk, Parliamentary Secretary, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, and Deputy Majority Leader Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi.

Justice Ademola Bola gave the summon after his judgment, which ordered the reinstatement of four lawmakers who were reportedly suspended over their refusal to sign the impeachment notice against Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi.

The court also ordered that the four lawmakers, Iroju Ogundeji, Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle be paid N5million each.

But the Speaker approached the Court of Appeal for stay of execution of the orders of the lower court.

Justice Oyebisi Omoleye of the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure threw out the stay of execution suit and ordered the reinstatement of the lawmakers as well as payment of their entitlements from the day of their unlawful suspension.

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The Speaker and other appellants were also ordered to pay N250.000.00 jointly and severally to the lawmakers as damages.

Attempts by the four legislators to effect the court ruling were thwarted, as they were locked out of plenary and their entitlements not paid.

Counsel to the lawmakers, Olabanjo Ayenakin, filed contempt charges against the Speaker and three others

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

The notice said: “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 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 the 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 N5million as damages for the wrongful and unconstitutional indefinite suspension.”