We hear that there is confusion brewing at the Ondo State House of Assembly. What happened is that, 13 of the 26 members of the House have suspended the Speaker, Jumoke Akindele, and her deputy, Fatai Olotu, on Friday night based on allegations of fraud.
The meat of the gist as we heard:
The reports we gathered are that some members of the house had trailed the assembly’s paymaster, Makanjuola Adesina, from a commercial bank in Akure, where he had gone to withdraw N15million on behalf of the house and accused him of withdrawing the sum without parliamentary approval.
Mr. Adesina’s Side Of The Story:
“I was issued a cheque of Fifteen million naira (N15,000,000.00) by my boss, the Director of Accounts (DA) to cash it at Stanbic Bank which I presented and later cashed at about 4 p.m.,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
“The DA instructed me to move the cash to the assembly complex as usual for further directive on how to disburse the cash through my office as slated in my official schedule of duty.
“But, the moment I left the bank, I noticed a car trailing me while I made a frantic effort to get to the Assembly complex to avoid being robbed by my assailants, which I later realised were honourable members on a mission to carry out an undisclosed assignment.
“Before I could move the said cash into my office, about thirteen members of the House, bombarded on my car and ordered me to carry the bag containing the cash from my car booth, while they were busy taking my pictures with the cash.
“It is very painful that in the course of my duty as a law abiding senior public officer and Pay master of the House, I was man-handled, tortured, publicly ridiculed and subjected to a callous dehumanising treatment by the very people I serve as honourable members of the ODHA. For this, I demand my respect and fundamental rights as human and public servant.” he said.
However, Ms. Akindele has declared that she remains the Speaker of the House, and her purported removal is a nullity.
She has rejected the allegations saying they were fabricated by her detractors.
The leader of the Assembly, Dayo Akinsoyinu, who was suspended alongside Ms. Akindele, has also spoken out saying the N15 million withdrawn by the paymaster was not fraudulent but followed due process.
It was learnt that the aggrieved lawmakers have refused to shift grounds insisting on removing the Speaker.
The lawmakers have gone ahead to appoint their replacements: Malachi Coker was appointed acting speaker; Ayodele Arowole, acting deputy speaker and Olamide George, acting deputy majority leader.
The paymaster also denied being intimately involved with the speaker of the house, as alleged by the members of the house who had attacked him.
Written by Okolo Ezinne