by Dare Lawal
It seems like the speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly is getting his groove back.
Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who has serious corruption allegations hanging over his head gained some reprieve in the last sitting of the court on his case when the trial judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, blasted the prosecution for unnecessary delay and hinted that he was being pressured. The judge also adjourned the case indefinitely.
“This case has witnessed an unprecedented delay by the prosecution and tactics set by persons to blackmail this court,” Justice Okeke said.
At the sitting of the Lagos assembly on Monday, further cause to cheer came the speaker’s way when his colleagues passed a confidence vote on him.
The motion for the vote of confidence was moved at plenary by Yinka Ogundimi (Agege2) under Matters of Urgent Public Importance, and it was seconded by Suuru Avoseh Hodewu (Badagry 2).
Moving the motion, Ogundimu said, “From the pronouncement of the presiding Judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke at the last hearing before adjoining the case indefinitely, it is clear that there are some unseen forces behind the case that is causing delay in proceedings and also resorting to blackmail to achieve a sinister motive.
“Despite all effort by the court to accelerate hearing of the case it has been frustrated by the prosecution. It has been a deliberate effort to slow down activities of the House; I commend the leadership of the House for the mature way it has handled the matter, refusing to be blackmailed and slow down the activities of the House.
“In spite of all the frustration and delay the leadership of the House ensured that work and proceedings of the House did not suffer as the House is not lacking behind in its activities,” Ogundimu said.
Other members who spoke, toed the same line as Ogundimi.
Mufutau Egberongbe (Apapa 1) said “we should be careful as a nation, judiciary remains the hope of the common man and if judges are being hunted then the nation is in trouble.”
Also, Rotimi Olowo (Somolu 1), while commending the trial judge for doing his best to accelerate proceedings, said that the ugly situation has traumatised the House for a long time and is affecting morale of the House as well.
Mudashiru Obasa (Agege 1) said the matter has become a political issue “and as politicians we have to address the political aspect; the genesis of the case shows that there are interested parties who for political reasons chose to delay the case so as to pursue their political interest”.
The motion for a vote of confidence was put to a vote by the Deputy Speaker of the assembly and was unanimously upheld.