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Ondo Assembly resumes move to remove Aiyedatiwa

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

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The Ondo State House of Assembly has written a fresh letter 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, 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 October 3, 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 Aiyedatiwa, 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.’

“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) and (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 came about a week after the House announced the suspension of the impeachment process, following the intervention of the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja.
The Speaker, at the Abuja meeting with the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, and other party stalwarts, announced that the House had suspended the impeachment process.

The House subsequently called on Aiyedatiwa to withdraw all the suits filed against the lawmakers and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

The new twist on Monday indicated that the efforts of the APC’s reconciliation committee, headed by a former governor of Katsina State, Mr. Bello Masari, to resolve the crisis have broken down.

Meanwhile, Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), said in a statement on Monday that the Ondo State High Court in Akure advised the House and Aiyedatiwa to go and explore an amicable resolution of their disagreements.
According to Adegboruwa, Justice D.I. Kolawole made the remark when one of the cases filed on the matter came up for hearing before him in Akure.

It was gathered that in the case, the Ondo State Government and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu sued four registers of the court, the Ondo State House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House and the Clerk, the deputy governor, and the Chief Judge, to stop the compilation of records of appeal in aid of the appeal filed by the deputy governor against the ruling of Justice Akintan-Osadebay delivered on October 10, 2023.

The statement read, “The plaintiffs in this suit filed on October 12, 2023, in Suit No.AK/362/2023 are contending that the Registry of Ondo State High Court did not comply with due process of law and the rules of the Court of Appeal before fixing a date for the compilation of records of appeal in alleged breach of their rights.

“They, therefore, asked the court to halt the process of the said compilation of records of appeal.

“Upon being served with the new suit, the deputy governor raised a counter-claim, asking the court to stop the House of Assembly from continuing with the impeachment process, to nullify the notice of acts of gross misconduct raised against him by the House of Assembly, and to stop the Chief Judge and all judges and courts in Ondo State from extending the time within which the Chief Judge is to set up a panel of investigation beyond the seven days allowed by the constitution, which has since expired.”

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