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Oyo: And the Lilly-Livered Assemblymen Chickened Out

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The fire had been put out even before the real fight would start. Those expecting a long-drawn battle had better perished the thought. The seeming faceoff between members of Oyo State House of Assembly and Governor Abiola Ajimobi over the warrant of arrest issued to the state Accountant-General and some top officers in the state’s finance department has been quashed.

Forget the remonstration of some members of the House particularly the Accord party members, to the contrary, the matter is over. It’s dead and buried! And the top account officers of the state summoned by the lawmakers to appear will not appear before the House and nothing will happen. The fight was all quelled at a meeting the governor had with the lawmakers last weekend during which some of the lawmakers’ grievances were addressed.”If the lawmakers did not leave the meeting with ‘something’, they got ‘something’ after the meeting,” a source close to the meeting said. The lawmakers were simply broke and they needed to rattle the governor to get him to part with ‘something’. Some other lawmakers, flustered that they are not returning to the House after May 2015, were out for broke with Governor Ajimobi as they won’t lose much by so doing.

While the fight lasted, the lawmakers even threatened to remove Speaker Monsurat Summonu if she stood in their way. To give them the chance to carry out their plan, the Speaker stepped aside for her deputy, Babatunde Olaniyan, a member of Accord, who had never presided over proceedings since inception of the House in 2011, to so do. And that was how the lawmakers asked the Commissioner of Police to issue warrants of arrest on the Accountant-General and other top finance officers of the state for failing to appear as scheduled before the parliamentary council of the House on March 5.

Specifically, the invitation was for the officers to come and explain in details how the allocations to the 33 local government councils in the state were disbursed. But they all failed to appear and will not appear because the governor allegedly did not sanction their appearance before the House. In the end, the lilly-livered lawmakers chickened out.

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