Chief Judge writes Ondo Assembly to resume deputy gov’s impeachment process

The Ondo State House of Assembly has written to the state Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to constitute a panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

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

The letter was titled, ‘Request to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, following the expiration of the interim injunction of the Federal High Court in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023 by operation of the law.’

The letter read in part, “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).

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“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 so such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.”

“Your lordship, however, opined that until the ex parte order made on September 26, 2023, by the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court restraining you from setting up the panel was either vacated or set aside, your hands would continue to be tied.

“However, from the facts and legal advice at the disposal of the House, the said order has now elapsed and/or become extinguished by the operation of the law, in view of the clear provisions of Order 26 Rule 10 (2) & (3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.

“Your lordship would agree that the said order has elapsed by the operation of the law, and no longer constitutes an encumbrance for your lordship to discharge the sacred constitutional obligation placed on your office by virtue of Section 188 (5) of the Constitution to set up the seven-man panel.

“Consequently, the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly hereby calls on your lordship to kindly constitute the Panel without any further delay.”

This development comes a few days after the House announced the suspension of the impeachment process, following the refusal of Justice Odusola to constitute the panel on the grounds of a court order.

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