A petitioner to the Osun state House of Assembly, Justice Olamide Folahanmi, has given as condition for appearing before a legislative ad hoc committee a response from Governor Rauf Aregbesola on issues she raised. The state judge recently queried alleged mismanagement of state funds and government’s inability to pay civil servants, while urging the state legislators to remove the governor and his deputy, Titilayo Tomori. The assembly claimed the governor had replied Folahanmi in his letter to them, thus setting up a committee to interface with the petitioner. Although, she was billed to meet with the committee members Tuesday, Folahanmi did not. Instead, her counsel, Lanre Ogunlesi, senior advocate and former Ogun state attorney, said the assembly needed to meet Folahanmi’s demand.
“Fear hearing demands that as a first step to defending the petition, it is necessary for the petitioner to be provided with the governor’s response”, Ogunlesi stated.
“They said the committee was a fact-finding one, but the issue at stake was a serious one and for the sake of posterity and people yet unborn, they need to forward the answers to her.
“She may even come out and say I am sorry, I withdraw my petition after going through the governor’s reply and may not need to see the committee again.
“But, I want to say that she will be here. We are not running away. She is bold enough to write the petition and she is prepared to defend it. If she should have the reply today, she will be here tomorrow”.
But the committee stated that revealing the governor’s response, which it claimed is a confidential memo to the assembly, flagrantly oppose the rules of the legislature.
Adegboye Akintunde, who heads the committee, explained “the rule of the House is clear. Order 26 says that petition must come to the House through a member and again the petition must be signed page by page. But we are not looking at this. We wrote petitioner by inviting her to defend her allegations.
“Another rule is broken because for clarity sake, the petitioner is not here and she needs to come in person but we allowed his representatives.
“This is not the end of the petition. We are still going to take our report to the floor of the house where every member of the House will debate it. But she is the one who sent the petition and the onus rest in her to prove it.
“Her petition must have been dead on arrival it was not sent according to the rule of the house. But we made this rule. We are arbiter in this case and this is not a trial court. But we will get in touch with her”.
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