Malachi Coker, a factional Acting Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, on Monday said the police had sealed the Assembly complex over its leadership crisis.
Coker told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Akure that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ordered the indefinite closure of the Assembly.
Some members of the Assembly had on January 27 impeached the Speaker, Jumoke Akindele, and some other principal officers over allegation of N15 million fraud.
The N15 million was allegedly found on the Assembly’s Pay Master, Makanjuola Adesina, who told the lawmakers that it was withdrawn on the instruction of the Speaker for a project which he failed to disclose.
Coker told NAN that the Assembly had adjourned sitting indefinitely following the police action.
“For now, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has directed that the Assembly should be locked.
“On Friday, February 3, the police brought a warrant that the Assembly should be locked indefinitely and that was after the House had adjourned its sitting at a plenary held on Thursday, February 2.
“We hope the police will not be bias in their actions by allowing the impeached speaker’s faction to have access into the Assembly,’’ he said.On the impeachment of the Speaker and other principal officers, Coker said that 20 out of the 26 members of the Assembly signed the impeachment notice.
“For clarification, it takes 18 members to sign the impeachment notice, while 10 members can sit in the Assembly to pronounce it and this time around 20 members signed the impeachment notice.
“About seven members backed out after they had signed the impeachment notice following pressure from the power that be.
“We all plan the impeachment together, but as human beings, some claimed they were not in the Assembly when the impeachment was to be carried out,’’ the acting speaker said.
Akindele has rejected her removal and said she still enjoys the support of 13 of the 26 members of the Assembly. She said her removal did not follow due process and she still remained the speaker.