Fleeing members of the Ondo State House of Assembly who impeached their speaker and deputy, Bamidele Oloyelogun and Iroju Ogundeji last Friday have denied reports that they were being sponsored by Governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
This is just as they said that the exercise remained irreversible, notwithstanding alleged threats to their lives.
Eleven members of the group of 18 lawmakers, who fled Akure, Ondo State capital moments after the impeachment of the duo, appeared at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Monday.
They claimed some of their members were still recuperating at a Lagos hospital while three others were discharged earlier on Monday.
The lawmakers who were led by their new speaker, Olamide George, told reporters that they would remain in ‘exile’ until President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police could guarantee their safety and those of their families.
Oloyelogun and Iroju were impeached over alleged gross misconduct, financial recklessness, abuse of power and incompetence in running the affairs of the assembly.
The new speaker said the impeachment was an in-house exercise which had constitutional backing.
George said Oloyelogun and Iroju were not only impeached but also suspended.
“We learnt that the minority group led by the ousted speaker and deputy held a sitting today (Monday). It is laughable to hear that the impeached and suspended speaker could preside over an assembly.
“All these illegal activities point towards the governor. We learnt they went to the assembly with thugs today and chased out those working at the assembly. This is barbaric.
“It is disheartening that a governor, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria could aid such acts. He is supposed to be a promoter of the rule of law. I think he should demonstrate this by allowing the assembly to operate independently.”
He said that two other lawmakers who claimed that their signatures were forged were not saying the truth, having been induced with monetary benefits.
A member of the group and former speaker of the assembly, Olajumoke Akindele, said the impeachment was to change the unpleasant leadership in the assembly.
“The only reconciliation we are going to take is allowing the assembly take its decision without interference. The impeachment is irreversible,” she said.
Those at the conference include Philips Ajimotoki; Akinyele Fasogbon; Mukaila Musa; Abimbola Fajolu (Deputy Speaker); Olugbenga Araoyinbo; Malachi Coker; Olusiji Akindeose; Tuyi Akintimehin and Sola Ebiwonju.