Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado -Ekiti
The Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has declared null and void the suspension of six lawmakers by the State House Assembly. in 2018.
The court also ordered payment of their salaries and emolument.
The suspended lawmakers are – Tunji Akinyele ( Oye 2) Ekundayo Akinleye (Ijero), Olusanya Aladeyelu (Irepodun- Ifelodun 2), Olawale Onigiobi ( Ekiti South West 1), Ayodele Fajemilehin ( Gbonyin) and Dr. Samuel Omotoso (Oye 1).
The judgment delivered by Justice Abiodun Adewodun on Friday described the decision of the state Assembly to suspend and also stop the lawmakers’ salaries and emoluments as a flagrant abuse of the constitution and clearly out of order.
In its ruling, the court declared that the Assembly erred in law when a factional meeting of October 11, 2018, suspended some honourable members and described it as out of place and outright abuse of power.
The court also declared the purported impeachment of the Speaker, Kolawole Oluwawole and his deputy, Mr. Adesina Animasaun as void and a nullity.
The court declared further that the purported speakership of Hon Adeniran Ebenezer Alagbada (Ise) and his team of principal officers is unknown to law and therefore non- existent in the history of Ekiti State.
Reacting to the judgment, the legal counsel to the six lawmakers, Barr. Obafemi Adewale said that the judgment was not about Ekiti State House of Assembly alone but the 36 states House of Assemblies.
He said: “The judgment is for the House of Assembly as an institution abiding by its own rule. That is the principle that is also applicable to all the legislature in Nigeria. The judge relied on the case of Ovie Omo-Agege. It is about the rule of law. It is about checking impunity. When the judge held that somebody that was made speaker was never a speaker in the eye of the law, then it says something about the future of those who occupy such a position.
“We started with 12 of them but some of them crawled back to go and beg but they can now see the virtue of having confidence in the law.”
Also reacting to the judgment on behalf of other lawmakers, Dr. Omotoso said it was a victory for the rule of law.
He expressed his belief that the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, being a custodian and a product of the rule of law would abide and respect the court judgement and pay the outstanding salaries and allowances as ordered by the court without further delay.