FORMER Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, at the weekend, warned the state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, to stop meddling in the affairs of the state House of Assembly, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Rt Hon Jumoke Akindele by some aggrieved lawmakers
Olanusi who stated this in Akure, Ondo State capital after being decorated as the life patron of Road Transport Employers of Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), said the governor should be reminded that the legislature is a separate but equal arm of government that is neither inferior nor subservient to the Executive.
The former Deputy Governor, who was impeached by the House of Assembly in 2015, urged the governor to recognise the new leadership in the state House of Assembly led by Malachi Coker
He called on the governor to respect the decision of the lawmakers, urging him to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari, who did not meddle into the choice of the Senate President and Speaker House of Representatives.
Olanusi who noted that the new leadership in the state Assembly is being headed by member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, urged the governor not to entertain any fear in presenting the 2017 appropriation bill before the state Assembly.
"Mimiko should not be bothered by the change of leadership in the house; it is the responsibility of the members to pick the Speaker. The change of leadership should not affect the presentation of budget, once the lawmakers form a quorum," Olanusi said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the aggrieved lawmakers, Hon Ogundeji Iroju, on Sunday said that the embattled Speaker of the state House of Assembly remained impeached but said the members will be ready to receive the governor in the House for the budget presentation
Iroju maintained that Akindele was constitutionally removed by the lawmakers over "the alleged fraud of N15million levelled against her which led to her impeachment for second term.
"You will recall that Akindele was impeached about 10 months ago, but the governor appealed to us to stop the impeachment moves while we believe the former Speaker will turn a new leave.
"However, we have elected a new Speaker and two other principal officers this time around to replace all the impeached officers."
Speaking on the budget presentation, he said "On Monday, we got an information that governor Mimiko will be coming to the houseon Wednesday to come and present his 2017 appropriation bill and as early as possible, we arrived the Assembly complex waiting patiently for Mimiko because that is one of our constitutional duty to accept appropriation bill from the governor and give the bill accelerated passage.
"But eventually, we waited for the governor but he did not come for the presentation. But we were told that the governor travelled out of the state for an emergency meeting in Abuja
"We are waiting for Mimiko to come and present his budget because we know that if the budget is passed into law, it will have great positive impact on the lives of the masses."
Asked the efforts of the party and the governor to resolve the crisis, Iroju said "this is purely House of Assembly affairs not a party issue. We are defending the mandate of the people and not about party because the people voted for us and not only PDP members.
"This is a legislative issue and nobody can impose a Speaker on us. We are only worried why the governor is insisting that Akindele should continue as the speaker despite the allegation leveled against her"