Ondo Assembly Allegedly Locks out Opposition Lawmakers

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James Sowole in Akure

Two members belonging to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ondo State House of Assembly were allegedly prevented from entering the Assembly by security men at the gate.

The drama was revealed in a video which has gone viral on various social media platforms.

The affected lawmakers, Festus Akingbaso and Rasheed Elegbeleye, represent Akoko North-East state constituency and Idanre constituency respectively, in the state Assembly.

The two lawmakers were seen in the video protesting against the action of the policemen at the gate.

The security guard told the lawmakers that the order to lock the gate came from the Speaker, Hon Bamidele Oloyeloogun.

But one of the lawmakers put a call through to the Speaker, informing him of what happened at the gate, still the gate was not opened for them.

One of the aggrieved lawmakers, Elegbeleye, confirmed the video, and said it was a deliberate act to shut them out.

He said: “We were invited by the parliamentary secretary for the plenary session, but on getting to the gate of the Assembly, it was locked and the gatemen ran away. We were surprised to see this, after all, we are not suspended, and even those suspended have been reinstated by the court.

“So we called the Speaker, he did not answer his call, so we went back to our houses, and on our way back, the speaker called us back pretending to be unaware of us being locked out, but we did not return to the Assembly.”

In his reaction, the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Information, Hon Gbenga Omole, said the lawmakers were being mischievous about the scenario, maintaining that no lawmaker was locked out of the Assembly complex.

Omole said: “ These lazy lawmakers are aware that we are going on recess today (yesterday) and they just wanted to make a scene as usual. Four days ago they claimed thugs prevented them. Today they said they were locked out of the Assembly.

“In the video, you could hear that they received the notice to attend plenary. So if they were officially informed and invited, how can they be locked out again, is that not contradictory?