Allegation of inducement is gross display of emptiness — Akeredolu
Akeredolu sacks all his aides, Ajayi reabsorb them as personal aides
Dayo Johnson – Akure
The Ondo state House of Assembly complex was on Tuesday besieged by policemen following an alleged plan by lawmakers to commence the impeachment of the embattled deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi.
Ajayi in a swift reaction alleged that the 26 lawmakers were bribed with N10 million each by governor Rotimi Akeredolu to impeach him.
Reports had it that the policemen were drafted to the assembly complex 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, the state capital.
News that the state governor Rotimi Akeredolu had given his nod to the lawmakers to commence the impeachment process of the deputy governor spread across the state.
Ajayi had defected to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party after months of irreconcilable differences with his principal, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
He was received by the leadership of the PDP, led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and other national officers of the party.
The lawmakers had gone on recess after the face-off with the executive arm of government over the secret lodgement and spending of the N4.3b in the secret account by the previous administration ten years ago.
Reports had it that the lawmakers were to arrive at the assembly complex this morning after assembling at the Speakers lodge in Akure before coming to the complex.
After staying and surveying the assembly complex the policemen later drove off and didn’t return.
The lawmakers who were billed to arrive at the complex in a coaster bus belonging to the assembly reportedly changed the plan following directives from the government.
Vanguard gathered that the game plan changed following unforeseen circumstances that might be resolved to bloodbath if the exercise was carried out.
Reports had it that supporters of the deputy governor who hot wind of the plan equally mobilised to stormed the assembly and thwart the exercise.
The chairman House committee on information, Hon Gbenga Omole declined to comment when contacted by newsmen.
The state police command image maker Tee Leo lkoro said the police were at the state house of assembly for normal patrol.
Ikoro added that “My brother there is no reason for panic. We are doing our constitutional duties to protect lives and property.
In a swift reaction, the deputy governor in his reaction fingered government Akeredolu in the illegal move to impeach him having induced them to the tune of N10m each
Ajayi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo said that “the attention of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Agboola Ajayi has been drawn to the illegal move by the embattled Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin 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 to the tune of ten million naira each.
“As the moment, 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.
“We wish to state that the deputy governor is a tested politician of note, who is not unprepared for this type of kangaroo and infamous move from the desperate and drowning governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and his group.
“By joining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Agboola Ajayi has not committed any impeachable offense. He has only exercised his constitutional right to freedom of association. Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides as follows:
“Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any association for the protection of his interests.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we state unequivocally that the Governor and his allies do not have and cannot muster the requisite majority in the House of Assembly for the removal of the Deputy Governor under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 in any free, fair and transparent process.
“We remain undaunted in the move to throw off the combined weight of those kneeling on the neck of Ondo State. Our state shall not be allowed to suffocate.
“At the appropriate time, the people of Ondo State shall decide the right person, who will serve as the arrowhead of the bid to save the state from the nepotistic clique kneeling on her neck.
While the alleged impeachment drama was playing out at the assembly, the state government in two separate statements within two hours announced the sack of all the aides of the deputy governor.
The sack of the aides to the deputy governor is coming barely 24 hours after his defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Their sack was contained in two separate statements signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Segun Ajiboye.
One of the statements reads ” The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has relieved Mr. Allen Sowore of his appointment with immediate effect.
” Until his sack, Mr. Sowore was a Special Assistant to the governor on New Media.
” Mr. Sowore is advised to submit all government’s properties in his possession to the Chief of Staff to the Governor.
The second statement announced the sack of another six aides including that of the deputy governor’s wife.
It reads ” the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has relieved the following aides of their appointments.
The affected aides are: Mr. Olomu Bayo, Special Assistant, Special Duties, Mr. Olawale Abolade Mukaila, Special Assistant, Photography, Mr. Babatope Okeowo, Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Samuel Sam Ogunmusi, Personal Assistant, (Deputy Governor), Mr. Tokunbo Omotunmise TK Phobia, Special Assistant to the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Erifeyiwa Shola Akinnugba, (Photography, wife of the Deputy Governor )
” The affected aides are advised to submit all government’s properties in their possession to the Chief of Staff to the Governor.
Vanguard gathered that the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale invited the aides to a meeting.
The invitation letter was signed by one Somo Ogunlade, the Director(Finance& Admin/Political & Economic Affairs)
It reads ” l have been directed to invite your good self to a meeting with the Chief of Staff to Mr. Governor in his office scheduled on Tuesday,23rd June 2020 by 12.00 noon.
Vanguard however gathered that the aides of the deputy governor didn’t attend the meeting following an alleged plan by political thugs to lynch them.
But an aide to the governor told Vanguard that “the meeting was to reassign the aides to the governor but that since they shunned the meeting the state government had no option than to relieve them of their appointments.
The reason for his sack of Sowore was not mentioned but reports had it that Sowore was fingered as the person who leaked the video in which the deputy governor and the state police commissioner, Mr. Bolaji Salami had an altercation over his exit from the government house on Saturday to the social media.
The video went viral and received condemnation across the country.
Governor Akeredolu who was alleged to have given the police commissioner the directive has however denied that he knew about the stoppage of the deputy governor from exiting the government house last Saturday.
But in a swift reaction to their sack, the deputy governor reappointed all of them as his personal aides.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo said that the “Ondo State deputy governor, His Excellency, Agboola Alfred Ajayi has approved the appointment of Mr. Allen Sowore as Media Adviser. The appointment takes immediate effect.
” ln, the meantime all the sacked aides of the deputy governor have been reappointed as his personal aides and are hereby advised to return all government properties in their possession to the appropriate quarters within 24 hours.
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Ondo Deputy governor blocked from removing personal belongings out of government house
Okeowo added that “We also wish to inform the people of Ondo State and the general public that the deputy governor would speak about all contending issues at the appropriate time.
But reacting to the allegation of inducement by the governor, the state government through the information and Orientation commissioner Donald Ojogo said that “This is the height of perfidy, another pernicious warp from an intellectually challenged and treacherous personality.
Ojogo said that “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.
Ojogo said that ” Clearly, while the Executive led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN does not believe in the inducement, it is left for our very reputable Legislative Arm to either confirm or debunk this spurious allegation.