Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly have alleged threats to their lives following the leadership crisis currently rocking the parliament.
The lawmakers who spoke to newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday said they have been receiving threat calls and messages for impeaching the former speaker of the House, Hon. Jumoke Akindele.
Police last week sealed the Assembly complex over the crisis.
It would be recalled that on January 27, 20 out of the 26 members of the Assembly impeached Akindele and some other principal officers over allegations 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N15 million was allegedly found on the Assembly’s Pay Master, Makanjuola Adesina, who told the lawmakers that it was withdrawn on the instruction of the Speaker for an undisclosed project.
However, seven out of the 20 members have backed out, claiming not be part of the impeachment.
But on Wednesday, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, spokesman of the lawmakers who spoke to newsmen in Ibadan, disclosed the impeachment notice signed by the 20 members, stating that they cannot deny their signatures.
Ogundeji also accused the State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, of using divide and rule tactics in the crisis.
He said: “Since the crisis started, the governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has not called us as a group to settle the matter. He has been calling us individually, trying to use divide and rule tactics”.
He continued: “The point we are making now is that the former speaker, former deputy speaker and majority leader remain impeached. We have a new speaker now and we are fully backed by law to conduct the business of the House for the sake of Ondo State people. We have the maze and every other thing required the run the house.
“The should reopen the complex. We heard the governor was bringing the 2017 budget. Let him bring it. We are ready to receive it and work on it for the progress of Ondo State people”.
Ogundeji also pointed out that by being denied a court injunction on Monday to stop the new speaker, Hon. Malachi Coker from carrying out his functions as the new leader of the house, the other faction in support impeached speaker, Akindele, should sober up and join in moving the state forward.
He said they were only fighting against corruption being led by the impeached speaker, and not fighting against the government.
Meanwhile, Mrs Akindele rejected her removal and said she still enjoys the support of 13 lawmakers (including the seven that made a U-turn after allegedly signing the impeachment notice. She said her removal did not follow due process and she still remained the speaker.
Akindele and her supporters are loyalists of outgoing governor Olusegun Mimiko while the other lawmakers are said to enjoy the support of the incoming government of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
“By even going to court to challenge our action at all, it shows they have accepted the impeachment of the former speaker” the new majority leader, Olamide George said. “It is after losing at the court that they are now trying to make peace. We are not saying we don’t want peace but we don’t them to accept the situation as it is. Accept that Hon. Akindele and others stand suspended and impeached. They cannot even explain what project the N15million they were caught with was meant for”.
The lawmakers, who are PDP members, stressed that they remain PDP members and not planning to join APC as being speculated.
APC governor-elect, Akeredolu is set to take over from Mimiko on February 26.