Police sealed off the Ondo State House of Assembly on Monday as lawmakers clashed over the controversial impeachment of its former speaker, Jumoke Akindele.
Mrs. Akindele was impeached last week over her involvement in a N15m fraud. The assembly's paymaster, Makanjuola Adesina, had been caught with N15m in cash at the assembly complex and said he was holding the money for the speaker.
Fourteen members of the House subsequently voted to impeach the speaker, along with Deputy Speaker Fatai Olotu and Majority Leader Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, on Friday.
Ondo State Police spokesman Femi Joseph confirmed to The Cable that pro-Akindele lawmakers clashed with those who voted for her impeachment, forcing the police to close down the assembly complex in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
"When we got there this morning, everybody was allowed to go inside the complex in preparation for the day's business. Lo and behold, they started fighting one another, and the matter was degenerating into a free-for-all. All efforts by the commissioner of police to settle the issue through dialogue were not successful," Mr. Joseph explained.
"It became imperative for us to close down the assembly," he said.
In the wake of the scandal, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the N15m fraud.
"The party called on the EFCC to arrest the former speaker, former deputy speaker, and former majority leader, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, for investigations over the alleged N15 million fraud and other financial recklessness in the assembly," said Abayomi Adesanya, the Ondo State APC publicity secretary.
He praised the lawmakers who voted for Mrs. Akindele's impeachment and urged the new leadership to take measures to prevent further looting of the state government.