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Court summons Ondo Speaker, others over alleged contempt

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An High Court, sitting in Akure, Ondo State has summoned Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun and three other lawmakers to appear before it and state reason why they should not be jailed for disobedience to order of the court.

Other officers invited along with lawmakers for aiding court contempt are Clerk of the Assembly, Parliamentary Secretary, Prince Abayomi Akinruntan, and the Deputy Majority Leader, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi.

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

The court also ordered the four lawmakers, Hon Iroju Ogundeji, Hon Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle be paid N5m each.

But the Assembly 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 reinstatement of the lawmakers as well as payment of their entitlements from the day of their unlawful suspension.

The Speaker and other appellants were also ordered to pay the sum of N250.000 jointly and severally to the lawmakers as damages.

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

Counsel to the four 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 obeys 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 reads in parts: “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 N5million as damages for the wrongful and unconstitutional indefinite suspension.”

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