By Dayo Johnson
THE frosty relationship between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and his embattled Deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, yesterday, took a new twist as a plot to impeach the deputy governor thickened.
The House of Assembly was besieged by stern looking policemen, who came to protect the lawmakers as they planned to commence the exercise.
But the embattled Deputy Governor, who dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alleged that the 26 lawmakers were induced by Governor Akeredolu to impeach him.
Policemen were drafted to the assembly complex by the Ondo Police Commissioner, Mr. Bolaji Salami, to provide security for the lawmakers while they commence the impeachment process.
No fewer than five police patrol vehicles, conveying policemen, stormed the complex located along Igbatoro road in Akure, Ondo State.
The lawmakers had gone on recess after the face-off with the executive arm of government over the secret lodgment and spending of the N4.3 billion in a secret account by the previous administration for 10 years.
Reports had it that the lawmakers were to arrive the assembly complex yesterday morning after converging at the Speakers lodge in Akure before leaving for the complex.
The lawmakers, who were billed to arrive the complex, reportedly changed the plan following directives from the state government.
Vanguard gathered that the game plan changed following reports that it might resolve to bloodbath if the exercise was carried out.
It was further gathered that supporters of the deputy governor, who got wind of the plan, equally mobilised to storm the assembly and thwarted the exercise.
We were on normal patrol — Police
Also reacting to the deployment, Ondo Police spokesperson, Mr. Tee Leo Ikoro said: “My brother, there is no reason for panic. We are doing our constitutional duties to protect lives and property.”
Akeredolu bribed lawmakers to impeach me —Dep gov
In his reaction, the embattled Deputy Governor accused Governor Akeredolu of the plot to impeach him.
Ajayi, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo said: “The attention of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State has been drawn to the illegal move by the embattled Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu to impeach him through illegal and unconstitutional means.
“The illegal impeachment move would be carried out through financial inducement of members of the Ondo State House of Assembly. At the moment, the Ondo State House of Assembly complex has been besieged by men of the Nigeria Police, while parliamentarians that are known not to believe in the charade, are being prevented from entering the complex.
Ondo gov sacks Ajayi’s aides
While the alleged impeachment drama was playing out at the assembly, the state government in two separate statements announced the sack of all the aides of the deputy governor.
Ajayi reabsorbs sacked aides
But in a swift reaction to their sack, the deputy governor reappointed all of them as his aides.
Allegation is gross display of emptiness —Akeredolu
But reacting to the allegation of inducement by the governor, the state government, through the Information and Orientation Commissioner, Mr. Donald Ojogo said: “This is the height of perfidy, another pernicious warp from an intellectually challenged and treacherous personality.
“Knowledge cannot be procured, but only be acquired. For anyone to aver that lawmakers have been financially induced is a gross display of emptiness.
“It becomes more laughable when such comes from someone who had boasted about having majority members in the Assembly.
“While the executive led by Mr. Akeredolu, SAN, does not believe in the inducement, it is left for our reputable Legislative Arm to either confirm or debunk this spurious allegation.”