Impeachment: Tough Task Ahead Of Akeredolu In Ondo

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By; ODEYEMI SAMUEL, Akure.
Few days to the swearing in of the Ondo State Governor elect Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, plans to impeach him by members of the state House of Assembly thickens as the Lawmakers are making frantic efforts to effect a change of leadership.
Investigations by our Reporter showed that there was plan to install a member from Akure North Local Government (names withheld) as the Speaker of the House with a view to install the Deputy Governor Elect as the substantive Governor.
First was the impeachment of the Speaker, Rt. Hon Jumoke Akindele and her Deputy, which political observers saw as a coup de tat against the leadership of the House.
For the successful implementation of their plan, the Pay Master of the state House of Assembly, Mr. Makanjuola Adesina was used against the Speaker, Rt. Hon Akindele as they took advantage of the Pay Master who was out to fulfil an official obligation.
His immediate boss, who is the Director of Administration and Clerk of the House had earlier written a cheque of N15 million for Adesina to go and cash at a bank only for few Lawmakers to intercept him on the Assembly premises, ordering him to hand over the money in his care to them.
While narrating his ordeal, Adesina said, the Lawmakers, numbering about 15 descended on him forcing him to hand over the money to them and decided to humiliate him publicly within the Assembly premises in the presence of those that had gathered to witness the unusual attack on a staff of the Assembly by Honourable members.
There was conflicting report about the purpose for the huge withdrawal of money from bank, while an account has it that the money was meant to pay some of the outstanding salaries of staff and payment of entitlement of some staff that were said to be wrongly sacked, other report has it that it was meant to effect the change of leadership of the House.
In a swift reaction, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon Akisiji Akindiose debunked the allegation against the Pay Master saying he was only performing his official duty.
His words, ”in the course of his duty, a law abiding senior public officer was man-handled, tortured and subjected to a callous dehumanizing treatment.  This is unacceptable and we hereby call on the Commissioner of Police to use her good offices to investigate this act and bring the perpetrators to book”.
On the allegation of fraud against the leadership of the House, he said, ”we wish to refute same most vehemently as there is no iota of true to it. It was part of a leaked attempt to taint the leadership of the House as well as to arrest the Honorable Speaker and some other members to pave way for the illegal change of the House leadership”.
He reiterated that the funds are meant for a project which was properly approved by the approving authority and contrary to their mischievous assertion, the funds were to be kept in the appropriate office in the House of Assembly.
He however stated emphatically that the Rt. Hon. Jumoke Akindele left for Lagos after the close of work and was away at the time of this adventure and was therefore not in position to coarse anyone to do anything.
Finally on the purported suspension of the leadership of the House, “we maintain that it is not known to the rules of the House and even if it were to be done, it will not be done by mere ten (10) members out of twenty six (26) members after close of work on Friday”.
Hon. Akindiose described the allegations as mischievous, unwarranted, illegal and can therefore not stand, adding that, ”we hereby affirm our confidence in the leadership of the House and wish to place on record that we support them and demand that they continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices”.
Also, the new Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mukaila Musa has thrown his weight behind the Pay Master saying he was not trying to escape.
According to him, Adesina was sent on an assignment by the Speaker and the Clerk of the House as part of his normal routine.
”We laid ambush in the premises of the House after a tip-off and intercepted the money so as to prove to the masses and the entire citizenry of Ondo State that a fraud is being committed by the leadership cabal of the House without the consent of the Principal Officers and floor members of the House. So please the paymaster should not be stigmatised”.
He went further, ”we believe that the money must have been meant for a few members to pass some obnoxious bill without going through normal presentation on the floor of the House. Hence they collected the money from the House account and  brought the money in on a Friday at the late hour of the days business after the works and the entire Staff must have closed for the day”.
He however emphasised that, ”we the concerned Hon. Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly have done the needful by changing the House Leadership structure and suspending the former Speaker, the former Deputy Speaker and the former Majority Leader. We assure the entire citizenry of Ondo State of our commitment to move the State to greater height through legislative procedures that will guarantee growth in the State”.
Meanwhile, the Governor elect, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu during a telephone conversation disclosed that he was very much aware of meetings been held by his Deputy elect in the last five days adding that he had a conversation with him last about twelve days a go.

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