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Confusion over alleged sacking of Kogi speaker

A mild drama is currently playing out at the Kogi State House of Assembly as 19 lawmakers claimed to have sacked the Speaker, Matthew Kolawole.

The development came barely a few hours after the sack of Ahmed Muhammed as the Deputy Speaker of the House and three other principal officers by 17 lawmakers.

A letter made available to journalists in Lokoja, the state capital, on Saturday indicated that the Speaker was sacked by 19 lawmakers who signed the document.

Lawmakers who signed the document claimed that the Speaker was removed over alleged misconduct and money laundering running into millions of naira.

According to the lawmakers, Kolawole’s sack took effect from Monday, June 13, 2022.

The 19 lawmakers listed Kolawole’s sins to include non-payment of Assembly members’ constitutional entitlements, gross corruption and diversion of funds meant for the Assembly since 2019.

They added that the embattled Speaker obtained a personal loan, using the Assembly account to the detriment of other members.

The aggrieved lawmakers further alleged that Kolawole diminished the integrity of fellow members by serially recording meetings and confidential conversations of members and using them to blackmail them in order to get favour from the state governor, Yahaya Bello.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Femi Olugbemi, described Kolawole’s sack as a figment of the imagination of the lawmakers involved.

He said Kolawole remained the Speaker, adding that any legislative business not carried out on the floor of the House is illegal.

He said, “How can you claim to have removed the Speaker without a replacement? There can be no vacuum.”

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