Ondo lawmakers shun court order, move to impeach deputy gov
•Group tells Aiyedatiwa to respond to allegations
Ondo State House of Assembly has vowed to go ahead with the impeachment proceedings against the Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, despite the lawsuit he filed to stop the move.
Aiyedatiwa had asked an Akure High Court to stop the House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment plans against him.
But in a statement signed by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, the lawmakers said they would pursue the legislative process to a logical conclusion.
The House said it “will not abdicate or compromise its sacred constitutional duty to hold elected public officers accountable, particularly where there are prima facie serious allegations of corruption and abuse of power levelled against the deputy governor in this case.”
To back its decision to proceed with the impeachment process, the House referred to the case of Abaribe V. Abia State House of Assembly (2022) 14 NWLR (Pt. 788) 466, where it noted that the Court of Appeal emphatically stated that it was wrong for the appellant to jump the gun by rushing to the court to stop his impeachment process on the ground of alleged breach of fair hearing when the panel to investigate and hear him had not even been constituted.
It said: “The Court of Appeal then restated that by the provision of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution, no court has the jurisdiction at that stage to interfere in the legislative proceedings for impeachment.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly restated that the court can only intervene when the procedures for impeachment have been breached. In this case, however, the deputy governor rushed to court even before the notice of impeachment was served on him. For the records, no procedures have been breached in any way.
“In view of these, the House has directed its team of lawyers to investigate the purported injunction secured by the deputy governor and report any judicial officer, who might have abused his office in granting the unconstitutional ex-parte injunction to the appropriate institution for necessary disciplinary action.”
Meanwhile, Ondo youth Arise Movement (ODYM) has urged the embattled Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, to address allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office levelled against him by the Ondo House of Assembly and refrain from causing crisis in the state.
The group, in a statement signed by the acting President, Olaolu Ogunleye, and acting Publicity Secretary, Abigail Adebolu, said.
“By doing so, the waning glory of the deputy governor’s office can be restored while also safeguarding the integrity of other state institutions, including the state legislature.”
It also called on Aiyedatiwa to seize the opportunity to address the allegations in a transparent and comprehensive manner by providing necessary information. It added: By utilising the available time, and utilising other resources at his disposal, Lucky Ayeidatiwa can effectively counter the accusations against him.
“We have also observed the recruitment of political players and businessmen by the deputy governor, who have taken over the media space, the Assembly Complex, and other strategic places to cause chaos and push the state to anarchy. If the deputy governor was this active and proactive, the state wouldn’t have been rudderless and directionless when he held sway as the acting governor for months,” the group said.