James Sowole in Akure
The Ondo State Police Command has invited 16 lawmakers involved in the impeachment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and his Deputy, Hon. Bamidele Oloyeloogun and Hon Igundeji Iroju fortnight ago.
The invitation was revealed in a statement by the factional Speaker, Hon. Olamide George; his Deputy, Hon Abimbola Fajolu and the Majority Leader, Hon Olugbenga Araoyinbo issued yesterday.
The lawmakers said they were being hunted due to an allegation by two lawmakers, who actually signed the impeachment notice but later claimed that their signatures were forged.
They said that after the impeachment of the speaker and his deputy, George and Fajolu were sworn in as speaker and deputy respectively.
The lawmakers said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gbenga Adeyanju felt unconcerned when hoodlums suspected to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) invaded the House and desecrated the Legislative chamber.
“These thugs unleashed violence and mayhem on the members and staff alike, wounding many and destroying many properties under the watchful eyes and direct supervision of the Commissioner of Police and his men.”
Curiously, the lawmaker said the police commissioner did not lift a finger to help and made no efforts to stop the thugs or to arrest the situation or anyone. The lawmakers lamented that the thugs roamed free from that day till now and in spite of a comprehensive petition written to the Office of the Inspector General of Police and copied to the President, the NASS, etc.
They said the NURTW men “have not been apprehended and no efforts have been made to address and redress this wanton desecration of the hallowed democratic institution of the Legislature and the infliction of grievous injuries on some members, staff and even Journalists who were merely going about their duties of news coverage.”
They lamented that in a twist of fate, the police left notice in their houses inviting them for questioning or risked being declared wanted.
“In a curious twist of an already macabre story, the police have taken to hounding, witch-hunting and intimidating the members who participated in the impeachment based on a frivolous allegation of forgery made against them by their turncoat allies, Hon. Olajide Sunday and Hon Sola Oluyede.
“It is noteworthy that the members had taken their case to the Vice- President who had asked Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Fayemi Kayode to step in and resolve the impasse that had ensued between the minority of nine men and 16 men who were dissatisfied with the then status quo.
“It is instructive that at the meeting with the Vice President, it was proved beyond any doubt that the forgery crying duo did sign the petition and merely lied to protect their return tickets granted them by the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu.
“Police that has not even deemed it fit to invite the leader of the thugs for questioning has begun a ridiculous dance of intimidation against us by inviting us to come and answer for a case of forgery which even the weakest attempt at investigation would have shown them was false and unfounded.
“Letters of invitation were issued against us, brought by the Police and deposited in our various homes on November 23 with strict instructions that if we failed to appear on the set date, we would be declared wanted.
“We wish to state that we have been made fugitives because of the ongoing threats to our lives and the lives of our families by NURTW men.
“We have been prevented from going about our lawful businesses by the continual presence of hordes of thugs who have made the House of Assembly their offices since November 9 and now the final straw!”
“There is injustice in the land, Intimidation is ravaging the entire space, Ondo State is crying for help. The heroes of yesterday are now termed cowards, the oppressors have taken over, we are marked men and a woman scampering for safety everywhere as our case is synonymous to the hunter becoming the hunted.