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N15m Fraud: Ondo Lawmakers Demand Freeze Of Assembly's Accounts, Investigative Panel

Aggrieved lawmakers in the crisis-ridden Ondo State House of Assembly have demanded the freezing of the legislature’s financial accounts with some banks in the state capital, Akure. Their demand followed the discovery of a N15 million fraud. 
Ondo State Assembly Speaker Jumoke Akindele was impeached over her involvement in a N15m fraud 
Making the call in Akure, the lawmakers named the affected financial institutions as Stanbic IBTC, Zenith and Access banks, all based in the state capital.

The legislators stated that the immediate freezing of the accounts would help prevent further fraudulent transactions featuring the Assembly’s accounts in the banks.

A SaharaReporters correspondent reported that the aggrieved lawmakers consist of the group of thirteen who impeached the House speaker, Jumoke Akindele, as a reaction to the fraud.

As a result of the fraud, the lawmakers have also set up a six-member investigative committee to investigate the mishandling of the N15 million. Bamidele Oloyelogun, a state lawmaker from Ifedore constituency, is the chair of the committee.

A spokesman for the aggrieved lawmakers, Ogundeji Iroju, told reporters on Thursday that the committee would investigate the fraud and report back to the Assembly on its findings.

Insisting that the embattled speaker, Ms. Akindele, had been “impeached totally,” Mr. Iroju urged the police to put the Assembly under close watch. He disclosed that Malachi Coker, from Ilaje constituency, has been appointed as the acting speaker pending the choice of a substantive one.

Our correspondent reported that, since the impeachment of Ms. Akindele, various factions have emerged among the state lawmakers.

The legislature has twenty-six members. Twenty-one of them belong to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while five are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The factions within the lawmakers plunged the Assembly into crisis, preventing the outgoing Governor Olusegun Mimiko from presenting the 2017 appropriation bill to the parliamentarians on Wednesday.

Some youngsters in the state have been protesting against the decision of Mr. Mimiko to present the 2017 appropriation bill to the parliament. The protesters insist it is anomalous for Mr. Mimiko to present a budget less than a month to the end of his tenure. He is due to leave office this February.

Some state officials accused the incoming government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of sponsoring the various protests that have destabilized the Assembly.  

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