Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Mace broken as melee erupts over Amosun’s N150bn bond
Sheriff Balogun with agency reports
In a re-enactment of the division that emasculated the sixth Ogun State House of Assembly under former Governor Gbenga Daniel, a fracas erupted again Tuesday in the assembly, when 14 members out of 26 during a plenary session, announced the suspension of the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Suraj Tajudeen Adekunbi, and appointed Hon. Remmy Hassan as the new Speaker.
Following the confusion that greeted the emergence of two speakers, the mace, which is the symbol of authority of any legislative Assembly, was broken.
The situation took a turn for the worse with the suspension of four members of the Assembly.
It was also gathered that the appointment of the new speaker was not ratified by the remaining 12 lawmakers.
Sources in the assembly said the members were allegedly suspended to pave the way for the approval of a N150 billion bond proposal submitted to the assembly by the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
Taking advantage of the pandemonium, Adekunbi was said to have announced the suspension of four of his colleagues for acts bordering on gross disrespect for legislative institution among others.
The suspended members were Hon. Job Olufemi Akintan of Egbado North II State constituency, Hon. Remmy Hassan from Odogbolu State constituency, Hon. Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo representing Ifo II State constituency and Hon. John Obafemi of Remo North State Constituency.
THISDAY gathered that immediately their suspension was announced, the Assembly became rowdy, leading to the destruction of the mace.
While this was ongoing, the new Speaker announced that Adekunbi alongside three others were suspended based on their perceived ‘romance’ with Amosun to approve the bill for the bond.
Hassan said the four suspended members include: Adekunbi, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Tola Banjo; Majority Leader, Hon. Isreal Jolaosho and Hon. Kunle Oluomo.
Speaking on the development, Hon. Allen Taylor, who spoke with journalists, alleged that the suspension was instigated by Amosun in order to have a smooth ride with the passage of the bill for the bond.
Taylor said: “The governor is not sincere. In fact, he is corrupt. Why collect another needless loan when you can’t account for the previous ones? Let him follow due process. His plot is to suspend four or more of us then move in to get the two-third of members to agree. We will fight for what is just. We will protect the interest of the good people of Ogun State that elected us. Let it be spelt out that we are not safe. If anything happens to us, the governor should be held responsible. The speaker has been bought.”
While Adekunbi added that Plenary would continue today, the Remmy Hassan-led faction announced that plenary was adjourned indefinitely.
A mild drama had occurred during the Assembly’s Plenary last Thursday, where Adekunbi was alleged to have attempted to manipulate the process of the constitution of a Tender’s Board for the N150 billion bond.
Prior to this, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had called on the Board to follow due process in the award of contracts by the Assembly.
Meanwhile, shortly after the crisis broke out, a detachment of policemen were invited to the Assembly complex, which is located inside the state secretariat, which also houses the Governor’s Office.