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OYO HOUSE CRISIS: COURT REINSTATES MAJORITY LEADER, 7 OTHERS

By NBF News

An Oyo State High Court, on Wednesday declared the suspension of Hon. Adejumo Samuel Ademola as the Majority Leader, Oyo State House of Assembly as unconstitutional and of no effect.

The court also declared the suspension of seven other anti-Akala lawmakers in the House on June 8, 2010 as illegal and of no effect.

Justice Ademola while delivering his judgment declared that ,by suspending the lawmakers without given them ' fair hearing,' the Speaker, Hon.Moruf Atilola and 15 other lawmakers in the House grossly violated Section 36 of the Nigerian constitution.

The judge added that no Court would close its eyes to the breach of fundamental human rights, which the constitution of the country 'is made to protect.' He said, 'the contravention of Section 36 of the 1999 constitution by the Hon. Atilola and other defendants did not only breach the course of natural justice of the plaintiffs, but their civil rights.'

According to him, 'there was no evidence before the court that the Speaker and the other 15 lawmakers issued queries to any of the plaintiffs, challenging them of wrong doing, coupled with the fact that the plaintiffs were not there when the defendants found them guilty of the said allegations which eventually led to their suspension.'

The Judge stressed that the case of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Ume Ezeoke versus Aliyu Makarfi cited by the defence counsel was not in anyway applicable to the case before the court based on the fact that the Majority Leader and the other 7 lawmakers have succeeded in proving that their rights had been violated by the Speaker and the 15 lawmakers.

He therefore, ordered the immediate reinstatement of the Majority Leader and other principal officers of the House hitherto removed and suspended on June 8,2010 . Speaking shortly after the judgment, the reinstated Majority Leader, Hon. Ademola Adejumo commended the judiciary, for its continued efforts at sustaining the nation's growing democracy. He said the judicial arm had once again proved to be the last hope of the common man.'

'According to him, 'I thank God and I thank my star, I have been nicknamed, 'Agbara Jesu Po , I am very happy that the name has worked for me. The truth has finally prevailed .I also thank, the good people of Oyo State and journalists in particular.' Adejumobi then said, with the judgment, himself and the 7 other lawmakers are set to return to the House of Assembly today (Thursday), as duly elected members.

Crisis had engulfed the Oyo State House of Assembly on June 8, 2010, when Adejumobi and seven other lawmakers were suspended from the State House of Assembly, over attempt to impeach the Speaker, Hon. Moroof Olawale Atilola.

The crisis led to the invasion of the hallow chambers of the House by suspect thugs.ed political thugs which eventually led to some of the lawmakers sustaining various degrees of injury.