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By Awodeyi Elizabeth

Ondo State House of Assembly has declared the seat of the formal Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Iroju Ogundeji vacant over his defection to another Political Party.
His seat was declared vacant during the plenary presided by the Speaker, Rt Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun after the Clerk of the House, Mr. Jayeola Benjamin read a letter written by the All Progressive Congress, APC, Chairman, Ade Adetimehin on request to declear Rt Hon Iroju’s seat vacant following a notification written to the Party by Rt Hon Iroju Ogundeji on Saturday 19, 2022 that he has resigned from the Party.
In the letter, Rt Hon Ogundeji who was elected on the platform of the Party to represent Odigbo Constituency 1 in the State House of Assembly said he has registered as a Member of the People’s Democratic Party( PDP).
According to the letter, the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 constitution sub- section 109 states that a Member of the House of Assembly shall vacate his seat if he becomes a Member of another Legislative House and being a person whose election to the house of Assembly was sponsored by a Political Party, and becomes a member of another political Party before the expiration of the period for which he was elected.

The Majority Leader, Hon Oluwole Ogumolasuyi therefore moved a motion that his seat should be declared vacant and was seconded by the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Samuel Aderoboye.
In his rulling, the speaker, Rt. Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun said, base on the letter the House having acted in accordance with the Constitution therefore decleard his seat vacant, while a letter would be written to the INEC to conduct bye election into the seat within 90 days.
Oleyelogun directed that all his benefits and his entitlement should be stopped and all the Government properties in his possession should be returned to the House, while all Security Agencies should take note.
The Speaker also directed the State Commissioner of Police to arrest the Former Deputy Speaker for impersonation , having recognised himself as the substantive Deputy Speaker on the floor of the House at a plenary last week.
Meanwhile, in his reaction in a telephone interview with The Chronicle Magazine, Rt Hon Ogundeji Iroju said that the House has acted in contrary to the order of the Court.
“There is no doubting the fact that l’m no longer a member of the APC. l have joined the PDP as a result of division in APC; the party deregistered me during their registration exercise sometimes last year, and l have to belong to a political Party, that is why l joined the PDP”.
“It is no longer a news that the matter is before a Court of competent jurisdiction, which is the Federal High Court and the Court have duly served a letter to the Speaker and the Clerk of the House that no action should be taken in respect to the declaration of my seat vacant.So, if it is true that they have purportedly declared my seat vacant, they have acted in contravention of the Court order which is tantamount to contempt of the Court”,He noted.
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