Ondo Assembly resumes Deputy Governor’s impeachment process, writes Chief Judge

The Ondo State House of Assembly has resumed its bid to remove the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, from office with a fresh request to the Chief Judge, Olusegun Odusola, to constitute an investigative panel.

In a letter signed by the speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji on Monday, the House said the impeachment process resumed after the expiration of the ex parte order of the Federal High Court.

Part of the letter reads, “The Ondo State House of Assembly had on 3rd October 2023 requested your lordship to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct leveled by the House against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa, in line with Section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“In a reply letter dated October 6, 2023, your lordship acknowledged and quoted Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which states that ‘No proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly or the Panel or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.’

The House had earlier suspended the process on the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja. The court granted the order in a suit filed by Aiyedatiwa over the move to remove him from office for alleged misconduct.

Citing the order, the state’s chief judge, Odusola, declined an earlier request by the House for him to constitute a seven-person panel to investigate the allegations against Aiyedatiwa.

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had also waded into the matter by setting up a committee to reconcile Aiyedatiwa and associates of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who are believed to be orchestrating the move to remove the deputy governor.

However, Aiyedatiwa and his lawyers rejected the condition.

The rift in the Ondo State government has been linked to the next governorship election in the state coming up next year in which Akeredolu, who is on his second and final term, will not be eligible to run.

Aiyedatiwa has the ambition to succeed his boss but is being rebuffed by members of the family of the governor and their associates in the APC in the state.

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