Thirteen aggrieved lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly on Wednesday alleged that they have received threats to their lives over the crisis that has been rocking the assembly since the impeachment of former Speaker Jumoke Akindele.
The lawmakers, who have formed a ‘rebel group’ at the assembly, spoke to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, shortly after a political meeting in the town.
SaharaReporters gathered that the aggrieved lawmakers relocated to Ibadan on Monday evening shortly after the police sealed off the complex.
Iroju Ogundeji, spokesman for the rebel lawmakers, claimed that they have been receiving life-threatening phone calls from high profile politicians in Ondo State.
Mr. Ogundeji revealed that they decided to move outside the state and relocate to Ibadan due to the repeated threats.
“We had to move out of the state when our lives were no longer secure as a result of the threats,” Mr. Ogundeji told our correspondent.
He complained that Governor Olusegun Mimiko has also been causing further division among their legislators since the beginning of the crisis in the assembly.
“The truth of the matter is that the governor [Mimiko] is now using what I will call divide and rule tactics by calling us individually to settle scores over the crisis.
“Mimiko doesn’t want to call us as a group; he is probably trying to make a negotiation and it won’t work for him. We still hold our position that Jumoke Akindele has been impeached as the speaker of the assembly.
“Twenty Ondo State lawmakers signed her [Akindele] impeachment notice and we cannot deny our signatures. Even those who are still with her are just pretending,” he said.
Mr. Ogundeji maintained that Malachi Coker, representing Ilaje Constituency II, has been elected to serve as acting speaker.
While displaying a copy of the signed impeachment letter, Mr. Ogundeji also disclosed that the thirteen aggrieved lawmakers of the parliament were in possession of the assembly’s symbol – the mace and gavel – allowing lawmakers to conduct legislative business at the hallow chamber of the complex.
He disclosed that the thirteen lawmakers are determined to stop any form of corruption regarding the forceful presentation of the 2017 appropriation bill that outgoing Governor Mimiko might try to perpetrate.
“We are ready to stand against any form of injustice and corruption in the assembly, mostly regarding the forceful presentation of the 2017 budget to the House by Mimiko,” Mr. Ogundeji said.
SaharaReporters reported that crisis has been rocking the Ondo State House of Assembly since the discovery of a N15 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by Jumoke Akindele, and the assembly’s paymaster, Makanjuola Adesina.