• We’re not against gov –Lawmakers
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has blamed the manner of impeachment of Mrs. Jumoke Akindele as speaker of the House of Assembly as the cause of its current crisis.
Mimiko, who was at the Presidential Villa, yesterday, to meet with acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said even though Akindele, was ready to step aside, to give room for reconfiguration of power structure in the state, 13 members of the 26-member House lacked the constitutional power to impeach her.
He told State House Correspondents after meeting with Osinbajo that he aligned with those who said there was the need for the speaker to emerge from another zone to balance the power equation. The governor added that Akindele is ready to step aside.
Mimiko, who said he was not at the Presidential Villa to discuss the crisis in the state assembly with Osinbajo, added that elder statesmen in the state were already exploring ways to end the crisis.
According to him, the crisis was not directly related to his attempt to present the 2017 budget for consideration even though his administration was coming to an end.
Regardless, factional leadership of the Ondo State House of Assembly, led by Malachi Coker has said members of the faction are not against Mimiko, contrary to rumours making the rounds in some quarters.
The faction, comprising 12 lawmakers insisted that Coker remains the authentic speaker. He emerged factional speaker following the impeachment of Akindele and Fatai Olotu as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.
Speaking with newsmen, a member of the Coker’s faction, Ogundeji Iroju said members of the faction are not against Mimiko but against the claim of Akindele that she was still the authentic speaker. He said due process was followed in her impeachment.
He said the House would welcome governor Mimiko anytime he wishes to present the 2017 budget before the House of Assembly, and added that, “the only thing we are against is for Akindele to preside over the plenary of the house.”
Meanwhile, hoodlums, numbering about 10, on Monday evening, allegedly attacked residents of Alagbaka quarters in Akure, capital of Ondo State and destroyed property worth millions of naira. The hoodlums, it was gathered, invaded the community with dangerous weapons, claimed the ownership of the land and asked the occupants to remove their houses and vacate the area.
Members of the community told Daily Sun that the hoodlums allegedly destroyed about 300 houses.
Also, they alleged that the hoodlums were being sponsored by some members of Osore Family in Akure.
It was gathered that the Osore Family won a land dispute case at the court but the defendant, the Elekumo Family, which lost the case had appealed the judgment at the Court of Appeal.
Speaking on behalf of the landlords of the community, Mr. Olusegun Adu-Peters said the family that claimed the ownership of the land should not have taken laws into their hands by sponsoring thugs to destroy the residents’ property, saying they (Osore Family) should have waited until the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court decide the true owners of the land.
Adu-Peters called on the government and the security agencies in the state to prevent breakdown of law and order.
He alleged that the Osore family that claimed the ownership of the land was making life unbearable for the people of the community.
“It is no longer news that there was a court matter on the issue of the land between the Elekumo and Osore families over the land. The matter came before former chief judge, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi (retd) and it is no longer news that during the trial, the judgment was given and we are not here to question the judgment because I am a lawyer and I cannot question the decision of a court and we are standing on what the judge said.
“We know that if a judgment is done and you are not satisfied, you climb upstairs to address the issue. We now went to the Court of Appeal and filed notice of appeal but the other parties are saying they are not aware of the notice of appeal. We felt embarrassed by this,” he said.