Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has reinstated six lawmakers suspended in 2018 by the 5th Assembly of the state and also ordered payment of their salaries and emolument.
The suspended lawmakers include Tunji Akinyele ( Oye 2) Ekundayo Akinleye (Ijero), Olusanya Aladeyelu (Irepodun- Ifelodun 2), Olawale Onigiobi ( Ekiti South West 1), Ayodele Fajemilehin ( Gbonyin) and Dr Samuel Omotoso (Oye 1).
The judgment delivered by Justice Abiodun Adewodun on Friday described the decision of the State Assembly to suspend and also stop the salaries and emoluments of the lawmakers as egregious, indecorous, unbecoming and clearly out of order.
In its ruling on, the court declared that the Assembly erred in law when a factional meeting of October 11, 2018, suspended some honourable members and described it as anomalous, defective, unseemly, out of place, wicked and outright abuse of power.
The Court also declared the purported impeachment of the Speaker, Kolawole Oluwawole and the Deputy Mr Adesina Animasaun as Void, baseless and a nullity thereby declaring the purported speakership of Hon Adeniran Ebenezer Alagbada (Ise) and his team of principal officers as unknown to law and therefore non existent in the history of Ekiti State.
Reacting to the judgment, the legal counsel to the six lawmakers Barr Obafemi Adewale said that the judgment was about Ekiti State House of Assembly but the 36 States House of Assemblies.
“The judgment is for the House of Assembly as an institution abiding by its own rule. That is the principle that is also applicable to all the Legislature in Nigeria. The Judge relied on the case of Ovie Omo-Agege. It is about the rule of law. It is about checking impunity. When the judge held that somebody that was made Speaker was never a Speaker in the eye of the law, then it says something about the future of those who occupy such position.
“We started with 12 of them but some of them crawled back to go and beg but they can now see the virtue of having confidence in the law.”
Also reacting to the judgment on behalf of other lawmakers, Dr Samuel Omotoso said it was victory for the rule of law.
He expressed his believe that Dr Kayode Fayemi being a custodian and a product of the rule of law would abide and respect the court judgement and pay the outstanding salaries and allowances as ordered by the court without further delay.
He said that the emoluments of all honourable members are statutorily recognised under the rule of law since the position of an elected Lawmaker is tenured under the 1999 Constitution as amended and thus cannot be wished away.
He also appreciated the judiciary for standing firm as truly the bastion of all democracies in the world.
The former Chairman of the House Committee on information also commended his five colleagues, describing them as men of integrity, courage and faithfulness whose unblemished names and records in reliability and loyalty to a worthy cause would go down in history of Ekiti State as a memorable reference.
However, Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan ,the chairman of the house assembly committee on information in his own reaction,said that the House of Assembly has filed an appeal on the matter.
He stated, “All what Omotoso and his retinue of ignoramus are saying is just a figment of their imagination. They took the Assembly to court on their suspension. The court ruled that their suspension was illegal.
“I was also suspended for two years. If theirs was illegal, why would my own not be illegal too? If they had perpetrated such an illegal act, why are they justifying what the court has said? Does that mean they have also erred by even going ahead to suspend me in the first place?”
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He described the judgment as political and judicial gymnastics that will not have any impact on what is happening in the state House of Assembly. “We have filed an appeal, we are expecting that the court process will continue,” he said.