By Mumini Abdulkareem
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad and twenty two other members of the House oon Tuesday denied financial inducement for their recent defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance, raised by member representing Kaiama/Kemanji/Wajibe constituency, Hon Ahmed Ibn Mohammed, on the media report credited to the lawmakers.
The 23 members, at plenary on Tuesday, denied collecting any bribe before arriving at the decision to quit the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Each of the defected lawmakers, in their defense, described the allegation as unfounded and a calculated attempt to tarnish their image.
They reiterated that no individual or group gave them N15 million as bribe prior to their August 1, 2018 defection, adding that the decision was purely on personal conviction devoid of any financial inducement.
Reports that the 23 lawmakers allegedly collected N15 million each to defect from the (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in August had gone viral on the social media with some members pointing accusing fingers on their colleague, Hon Saheed Popoola.
Popoola is the only member of the House out of 24 lawmakers that remained in APC.
However, Popoola representing (Balogun/Ojomu) constituency in Offa, denied that he spoke with any media on the alleged N15 million bribe.
Popoola refuted the claim of being the author of the alleged rumour and challenged anybody to produce evidence or testimonies against him where he made the allegation against his colleagues.
He said as the only member who didn’t defect, some people would be desirous of using his name to tarnish the reputation of the House and praised his colleagues, for their display of maturity.
According to him, the Speaker had demonstrated high degree of patrioticism by placing public interest above other considerations, adding that he would have been suspended if it were in other State Houses of Assembly.
Concluding debate on the matter, the Speaker, urged his fellow Speakers in states Houses of Assembly to resist the temptation of declaring vacant, seats of defectors in their states.