9th March, 2011
Sakiru Adebanjo, a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, who was suspended last week, has accused the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, of having a hand in his travails.
He further accused the Speaker of frustrating all his efforts at effective representation in the House in the last three and half years.
Ikuforiji had last week Thursday announced the suspension of Adebanjo, who two weeks ago, defected to the Labour Party (LP) after a petition was allegedly written by an individual in Epe, accusing him of defacing Governor Babatunde Fasholaâ€™s campaign posters in his constituency.
The embattled lawmaker, who denied defacing any poster, said it was illegal and out of context for the House to suspend him without hearing his own side of the story.
He also demanded why he should be suspended when the House had set up a panel to investigate the issue.
Adebanjo told Assembly Matters that he was only being persecuted because he defected to LP in order to achieve his goal of contesting for a second term as a lawmaker and that he was not perturbed about the suspension.
According to him, â€œafter the primaries conducted by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), my delegates asked me to move to another party.
â€œI donâ€™t know what I have done to him to ensure that I do not exist. He doesnâ€™t want to see my face.â€
Explaining the genesis of the problem between him and the Speaker, he said after winning the primaries in 2007, his name was removed from the list three times by Ikuforiji, who was trying to foist one of his aides on the constituency to no avail.
According to Adebanjo, since then, the Speaker has also given him a cold shoulder and even frustrated the House Committee on Establishment, which he heads, from carrying out its oversight functions, to give the impression that he was not a competent lawmaker.
Adebanjo threatened go to court to challenge his suspension if the panel set up by the House fails to do justice on the issue.
But one of the aides of the Speaker who pleaded anonymity, denied that his principal was responsible for the lawmakerâ€™s problems.
The aide, who spoke on phone, told Assembly Matters that the Speaker had been Adebanjoâ€™s major supporter in the House in the last three years.
â€œWhat has the Speaker got to do with his suspension? He has not suspended him three years ago for not making any contribution to the progress of the House.
â€œHe was not suspend for conniving with other people to work against the Speaker, so why should the he now be interested in the lawmakerâ€™s suspension?â€ he asked.