Ondo CJ declines to set up probe panel for deputy governor’s impeachment
The impeachment process against Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, has suffered a major set back as the State Chief Judge, Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, has faulted the process.
Akeredolu in a letter to the state House of Assembly dated July 9, 2020, with Ref. CROD/1123/V.3/54 declared that the request made by the House to her for the constitution of a seven-man probe panel didn’t meet the constitutional requirement.
Last Tuesday, 14 out of 26 members of the House, issued a notice of impeachment to the deputy governor, which contained a seven-count allegation of misconduct against him.
They had through a letter with Ref No: ODHA/98/253/98 ordered the Chief Judge to constitute a panel to probe him even though nine members of the House kicked against the impeachment move, even as Ajayi had also approached a Federal High Court to halt the process.
The Chief Judge, in her response to the letter, said the request violated Section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
She explained the lawmakers had not fulfilled the constitutional requirements as stipulated in Section 188 (1), (2) (a), (b), adding that there was a court proceeding on the matter.
“In view of the foregoing, the Honourable Members of the House of Assembly have not completed the constitutional process that would lead your very good self to invite my humble self to set up a panel of seven to investigate allegations of gross misconduct as stipulated in the Constitution.
“Furthermore, I wish to bring to your notice the copy of the letter which I received earlier today from Kayode Olatoke (SAN), which letter tells me clearly that the matter of impeachment of Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi, Deputy Governor of Ondo State is sub judice,” she said.