Ondo Assembly Reinstates Deputy Speaker

Less than 24 hours after the Ondo State Deputy Speaker, Mr. Iroju Ogundeji was impeached by his colleagues, the impeachment was on Wednesday reversed by the lawmakers.

Ogundeji, representing Odigbo Constituency 1 in the Assembly, was impeached by 18 out of the 26 members on Tuesday following an alleged misconduct and disagreement with the Speaker, Mr. Bamidele Oloyeloogun.

Immediately after, Mr. Bimbo Fajolu who represents Ile Oluji/Oke Igbo Constituency was sworn in as the new Deputy Speaker.

However, it was gathered that the impeachment reversal came following the interventions of the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the chairman of the All Progress Congress, Mr. Ade Adetimehin and some other party leaders in the state.

The motion for reinstatement at the plenary session was moved by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Gbenga Araoyinbo, and was seconded by Mr. Fatai Olotu.

The Speaker, Mr. Oloyeloogun, also confirmed that the decision of the House to reverse the impeachment was effected by the leaders of the party — both in the state and outside the state.

He said, “Due to the intervention of the governor and some party leaders, the House hereby resolves that Iroju Ogundeji should be reinstated as the deputy Speaker.“

The atmosphere of the Assembly showed that majority of the lawmakers were not satisfied with the reinstatement.

One of them, who craved anonymity said, “ The drama has just begun, it is a seasoned film.”

Addressing journalists shortly after the plenary session, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr. Fatai Olotu, who earlier seconded the motion for reinstatement, said it was a good development that the impeachment was reversed in the interest of peace.

“There is no law in the House that cannot be reversed; that is what we have just done today.

“Nobody can benefit in crisis. Nothing is too big to sacrifice in the interest of peace. We are not voted here to come and be fighting,” Olotu explained

Earlier, there was a shouting match at the pre-plenary meeting of the lawmakers, as members disagreed over the intervention of the governor to do the reinstatement.

Some of them insisted that Ogundeji must not return to the seat as the Deputy Speaker.

A source in the Assembly said while the lawmakers declined the governor’s request, they told the governor that Ogundeji could not be reinstated but he could be given a soft landing in such a way that the
impeachment would be converted to resignation.

The source also narrated that the embattled deputy Speaker and another lawmaker almost exchanged blows at the corridor of the House during the fiasco.

It was, however, gathered that the governor eventually had his way after the APC chairman in the state, Ade Adetimehin, invited all the APC lawmakers to the party secretariat where the matter was finally

There was a deployment of the security men in the Assembly to forestall possible breakdown of law and order.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju; and some other senior Police officers were also seen on the premises of the Assembly while the pre-plenary meeting was ongoing.

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