Ondo Speaker, 3 others risk jail term over contempt of court
December 10, 2020
The Speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Bamidele Oleyeloogun and three others would on December 17 this year be arraigned in court for contempt of court.
This followed the service of form 49 (contempt of court committal) by the Ondo state High Court on them over their failure to obey the court’s order to reinstate four suspended lawmakers of the Assembly.
Others served by the court include the Clerk Bode Adeyelu, Parliamentary Secretary, Hon Abayomi Akinruntan and the Deputy-Majority leader, Hon Oladiji Adesanmi.
Recall that the Court presided over by Justice Ademola Bola had ordered the reinstatement of four lawmakers who were suspended for refusing to sign the impeachment notice served on the deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi.
The High court had ordered the assembly leadership to reinstate and paid N5m each to the four lawmakers for their unlawful suspension.
They include the deputy speaker, Rt Hon Iroju Ogundeji, Hon Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle.
However, the leadership of the Assembly led by the Speaker, Rt Hon Oleyeloogun approached the Court of Appeal for stay of execution of the lower courts order.
However, the Appeal court in its judgment uphold the judgment of the lower court and ordered the reinstatement of the lawmaker and the payment of their entitlements from the day of their unlawful suspension.
The Appeal Court Judge, Justice Oyebisi Omoleye apart from directing the reinstatement of the lawmakers, Justice also ordered the appellants to pay the sum of N250.000.00 jointly and severally to the lawmakers as damages.
Despite the orders of both courts, the four lawmakers have been barred from the plenary session of the Assembly and denied their entitlements.
Dissatisfied with the development, the four lawmakers through their counsel, Mr Olabanjo Ayenakin filed contempt charges against the Speaker and three others.
In the notice of consequence of disobedience to order of the court filed, the lawmakers said unless the Assembly obey 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 read; 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.
Efforts to speak with the chairman House committee on information, Hon Gbenga Omole for comments proved abortive.
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