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 Friday described the decision of the state assembly to suspend and also stop the salaries and emoluments of the lawmakers as 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 members and described it as defective, out of place, 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 Obafemi Adewale said the judgment was not about Ekiti state House of Assembly but the 36 states Houses of Assembly.
“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 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 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.
However, Hon Gboyega Aribisogan, the chairman of the current assembly Committee on Information, said that the house has filed an appeal on the matter.