ONDO, MARCH 20, 2017 – Mrs. Jumoke Akindele, the embattled former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, has been forced to resign from her position, SaharaReporters has learned.
Mrs. Akindele turned in her resignation letter on Monday after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu intervened in the lingering crisis rocking the Ondo State House of Assembly.
Our correspondent reported that the resignation came after several failed attempts to reconcile the two warring factions of the crisis-ridden Assembly.
An impeccable source disclosed that Mrs. Akindele’s resignation letter, signed with five other principal officers of the Assembly and dated March 20, 2017, was officially received on Monday morning by the governor’s chief of staff, Olugbenga Ale.
“Our resignation has become imperative in the face of the new geographical configuration of the state so that peace, which is the hallmark of any administration, will continue to reign in the land.
“Moreover, we are desirous of moving the state forward for the benefit of our people,” the letter read in part.
It would be recalled that twenty aggrieved lawmakers of the Assembly had purportedly sacked Mrs. Akindele and other principal officers of the Assembly for allegedly withdrawing the sum of N15 million from the House treasury.
Fifteen members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 5 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) carried out the impeachment at the Assembly complex.
The aggrieved lawmakers claimed that the N15 million was visibly found with Shina Makanjuola, a paymaster of the State House of Assembly.
They disclosed that Mr. Makanjuola was interrogated and confessed that the money was ordered for withdrawal by the embattled Speaker.
Meanwhile, the aggrieved lawmakers have authenticated Malachi Coker from Ilaje constituency as the new Assembly Speaker.
They also appointed Ayodeji Arowole as the new Deputy Speaker and Olamide George as the Majority Leader of the crisis ridden Assembly.
Their decision was taken at a “kangaroo sitting” of the Assembly held on Monday afternoon amidst heavy security within and outside the parliament building.
The Assembly was reopened for sitting after a month of closure by the Ondo State command of the Nigeria Police Force.
Our correspondent observed that the factional members loyal to Mrs. Akindele were absent at the sitting held inside the Assembly’s hollow chamber.
Addressing the Assembly, Mr. Coker said the resignation of Mrs. Akindele was not known to the aggrieved members of Assembly.
He said that Mrs. Akindele, with the former Deputy Speaker, Fatai Olotu, and the former Majority Leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, remained impeached and suspended
He maintained that a disciplinary committee had been set up to look into the allegation of fraud against the Assembly’s former principal officers.
Mr. Coker also ordered that the security details and government official vehicles and properties attached to Mrs. Akindele be withdrawn from her immediately.
He then dissolved the standing committee of the Assembly while adjourning sitting till Tuesday March 21, 2017.