By Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oleyeloogun and three members of the House have been summoned by the State High Court, Akure over alleged disobedience to the order of the court.
Also summoned were the Clerk of the House, the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Abayomi Akinruntan and the Deputy Majority Leader, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi.
The Court presided over by Justice Ademola Bola had ordered the reinstatement of four members of the House who were suspended over their refusal to sign the impeachment notice against the state deputy governor, Mr Agboola Ajayi.
The four lawmakers; Iroju Ogundeji, Favour Tomomowo, Tomide Akinribido and Wale William-Adewinle were ordered to be reinstated and be paid N5 million each for their unlawful suspension from the House.
However, the House presided over by Oleyeloogun approached the Court of Appeal to halt the implementation of the order of the lower court.
But the appellate court in its judgement upheld the judgment of the lower court and ordered the reinstatement of the lawmakers to their offices and the payment of their entitlements from the day of their unlawful suspension.
Apart from directing the reinstatement of the lawmakers, the Appeal Court judgement read by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye also ordered the appellants to pay the sum of N250.000.00 to the lawmakers as damages.
But despite the orders of both the lower and appellate courts, the four lawmakers have not been allowed into the plenary session of the Assembly nor paid their entitlements.
Dissatisfied with the action of the leadership of the Assembly, the four lawmakers through their counsel, Mr Olabanjo Ayenakin filed conptempt charges against the Speaker and three others.
In the notice of consequence of disobedience to order of the court filed at the weekend, the lawmakers said unless the Assembly obey the directives 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 suspended lawmakers also sought “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.
Also, they are asking for “an order setting aside the indefinite suspension of the claimants from House of Assembly being unlawful and ultra vires of the power of the defendants, an order reinstating the claimants to their positions as members of the House, restoring entitlements to them and the payment of N5million as damages for the wrongful and unconstitutional indefinite suspension.”