The crisis rocking the Ondo State Assembly took a turn for the worse on Tuesday following the removal of the embattled deputy speaker, Mr. Iroju Ogundeji, from office by his colleagues.
The lawmakers removed Ogundeji, during a closed-door plenary session, held within the chamber. Journalists and members of the public were barred from witnessing the event. It was gathered that, immediately after Ogundeji was removed, Mr. Samuel Aderoboye from Odigbo Constituency 2, was elected as the new deputy speaker of the House. Aderoboye, once served in the same position between 1999 and 2003.
Ogundeji, a second term lawmaker, was accused of gross misconduct inimical to the progress of the House. He was among the nine lawmakers who opposed the impeachment notice served on the State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi a few months ago.
During the crisis, the legislator from Odigbo Constituency 1, alongside three other lawmakers, was suspended by the leadership of the Assembly but the suspension was upturned by both the State High Court and the Court of Appeal. Both courts dismissed the suspension as illegal and frivolous.
In response to his removal from office on Tuesday, the embattled former deputy speaker described the action of his colleagues as illegal. He said it was done “in an anti-parliamentary manner as the Assembly did not have the required number of members to carry out the removal.”
He further said, “What they have done today (Tuesday) was illegal.
Before they can carry out such action, the House must have a two-third majority which they did not have because the nine of us that were against the impeachment notice are still together and were not in the Assembly when the decision was taken.
So where did they get the number of members that signed the resolution? I challenge them to publish the names of those that signed the resolution. So, they have committed an illegality.”