The Federal High Court in Abuja has issued a restraining order preventing the Ondo State House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment of Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, based on allegations of gross misconduct. Mr. Aiyedatiwa is the Deputy Governor of Ondo State and is currently facing impeachment proceedings.
The restraining order was issued by Justice Emeka Nwite following an ex parte motion presented by Mr. Aiyedatiwa’s counsel, Kayode Adewusi. Justice Nwite also extended the order to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, preventing him from nominating a new deputy governor or forwarding such a nomination to the lawmakers for approval until the substantive matter is heard and determined.
Justice Nwite stated that the application was granted in the interest of justice. He further declared, “Therefore, the application of the applicant succeeds.”
The lawsuit was filed by Mr. Aiyedatiwa against the Inspector-General of Police, the Department of State Services, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, the Chief Judge of Ondo State, and the Ondo State House of Assembly as respondents. The court granted all four reliefs sought by Mr. Aiyedatiwa and adjourned the case until October 9 for a full hearing.
Meanwhile, in response to the ongoing impeachment proceedings, hundreds of Ilaje community indigenes gathered in Akure, the state capital, to protest against the process. They expressed support for Mr. Aiyedatiwa, an Ilaje man, and decried what they perceived as an attempt to prevent him from contesting the 2024 governorship election in the state.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, demanding justice for Mr. Aiyedatiwa and expressing their solidarity with him. They alleged that the impeachment proceedings were a plot to remove him from the governorship race.
In addition to the public protests, some former members of the Ondo State House of Assembly criticized the Assembly’s priorities, suggesting that impeachment proceedings should not take precedence over other pressing issues facing the state.
Furthermore, a political organization known as the Ondo State Consciousness Movement cautioned the Ondo State House of Assembly against being used for political purposes by the executive branch. The organization urged the legislature to prioritize justice and adhere to constitutional principles amid rumors of political discord between Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.