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Monday, March 8, 2021

It is unlawful to suspend lawmaker indefinitely, says court

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure ruled that the leadership of any State House of Assembly lacked the powers to place an indefinite suspension on any elected lawmaker.

It ruled that the suspension of any lawmaker could not be more than one legislative day or a plenary sitting.

Justice Ademola Bola spoke while giving judgment in a suit filed by Tomide Akinribido of Zenith Labour Party, who represents Ondo West Constituency 1, in the Ondo State House of Assembly

Akinribido was placed on indefinite suspension in August for gross misconduct and use of vulgar words against the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun both in the hallowed chamber and on a WhatsApp platform.

Akinribido was one of the nine lawmakers who opposed the impeachment of the state Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.

But Justice Bola in her ruling nullified the indefinite suspension placed on Akinribido.

Justice Bola held that the Assembly had no power to place an indefinite suspension on lawmakers but could only regulate actions of its members as well as melt out disciplinary actions on members.

She declared that the lawmaker’s indefinite suspension was a misuse of the powers of the Assembly and therefore null and void.

However, the court dismissed the prayer of the lawmaker to award costs.

Akinribido said he would resume his legislative duty in the Assembly next week.

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