Court grants leave to Deputy Governor to serve Ondo Assembly

The Akure High Court of Ondo State has granted leave to the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to serve all processes filed in the suit on the State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Clerk.
Ondo State governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa
Lucky Aiyedatiwa

The Akure High Court of Ondo State has granted leave to the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to serve all processes filed in the suit on the State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Clerk.

This directive was contained in the order of Justice O. Akintan-Osadebay, which directed that all processes filed in the suit be served on the House of Assembly by pasting them on the front side wall/fence or entrance gate or any conspicuous area of the Ondo State House of Assembly Complex, Alagbaka, Akure and also on the notice board of the High Court of Justice, Akure, Ondo State.

Recall that on September 19, 2023, the Ondo State House of Assembly claimed to have commenced impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor but instead of serving him with the purported notice of acts of gross misconduct, the House of Assembly convened a plenary session on September 20, 2023, to deliberate on the notice, which had not been served.

Aggrieved, Aiyedatiwa approached the Akure High Court in Suit No. AK/348/2023 filed on September 25, 2023, to stop the proceedings in the House of Assembly. The House of Assembly prevented the bailiff of the Akure High Court from gaining entrance into the premises of the Assembly to serve the court processes at about 10:30am on September 25, 2023, but in the evening of the same day claimed to have served the notice of acts of gross misconduct on the deputy governor after the suit had been filed in court.
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Aiyedatiwa filed an application before the court seeking an order for leave of the court to serve the Assembly by substituted means by pasting the court processes on the wall/fence of the Assembly Complex.

Arguing the said application in Akure on September 28, 2023, his lead counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) brought the contents of the affidavit in support of the application to the attention of the presiding judge, narrating how the Assembly had allegedly conducted its affairs illegally and displayed unacceptable acts of legislative rascality by locking the entrance gate of the Assembly in order to evade service of court processes.

The judge thereafter granted the application upon the terms of the reliefs contained therein.

The case has been adjourned to October 6, 2023. The bailiff of the Akure High Court has since complied with the order of the court by pasting the court processes as directed by the Court.

In the substantive Originating Summons, the deputy governor is seeking the court to declare that the office, tenure and status of the Claimant as the deputy governor of Ondo State are creations and establishments of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and by virtue of Sections 186 and 187 of the said Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) the same cannot be withdrawn, tampered with, altered, shortened or jeopardised by the Defendants except and in a manner permitted by law.

He also wants the court to declare that as the deputy governor of Ondo State, the office, tenure, status, rights and privileges of him are protected, secured, guaranteed, governed and regulated under sections 186, 188, 189, 190 and 191 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and other enabling legislations in that behalf and they are to be enjoyed as such by the Claimant without let or hindrance from the Defendants except and in a manner permitted by law.

Aiyedatiwa wants an injunction restraining the defendants and their agents, privies and representatives from interfering with the office, status, his tenure as the deputy governor of Ondo State, or in any other manner restricting, disempowering and/or preventing him from discharging his constitutional duties and functions as the duly elected deputy governor of Ondo State in a joint and equal ticket with the Governor of the Ondo State.

He wants a court order forthwith reinstating/restoring the full and total rights and privileges attached to him as the duly elected deputy governor of Ondo State, which include, but are not limited to the restoration of all media aides and press crew attached to the office of the Claimant as the deputy governor of Ondo State.
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