• en

Ondo Assembly Serves Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa Impeachment Notice

Aiyedatiwa asked the court to stop the exercise, while a group has called for the national assembly’s intervention.

The Ondo State House of Assembly, on Monday, said it has served an impeachment notice on the Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

But Aiyedatiwa, has asked the Ondo State High Court to stop the Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

At the same time, a group under the auspices of Ondo Redemption Front (ORF), has called on the National Assembly to intervene in the alleged impeachment process by the state Assembly against Aiyedatiwa.

Speaker of the State Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, while briefing newsmen in Akure, said Aiyedatiwa was served on Monday through substituted service.

The Assembly, had last Wednesday at plenary session, directed the clerk to write the deputy governor on alleged gross misconduct.

He also alleged a threat to his life due to fetish objects dropped at the entrance to his official lodge on Monday, calling on the people of the state and security agencies to track the perpetrators.

“Very early this morning, when I was about going out, I saw an object in front of my lodge. These threats started since the day we started the impeachment process. I have been receiving strange calls.

“My life has also been under serious threat from unknown people. I want to call on the people of Ondo State and security operatives to track these people down,” he said.

However, in Suit No. AK/348/2023 filed at the High Court in Akure on Monday, the deputy governor sought a declaration that the Assembly was not competent to proceed on his impeachment in breach of his constitutional and fundamental rights to fair hearing.

He contended that the sacking of his media aides and subjecting him to the Ministry of Information headed by a commissioner amounted to a breach of his rights and privileges as a deputy governor.

He was seeking a declaration that his office, tenure, status, rights and privileges were protected, guaranteed and secured by the Constitution, and the declaration that in the determination of his civil rights and obligations as a Deputy Governor of Ondo State by the House of Assembly, he is entitled to a fair hearing and that given the utterances and conduct of the House of Assembly so far, there is likelihood of bias against him in the impeachment process.

According to him, in conducting media trials against him without serving him with any notice of gross misconduct, the House Assembly has constituted itself into accuser, investigator, prosecutor and judge.

Aiyedatiwa then sought orders of injunction to stop the House of Assembly from initiating, continuing or proceeding with the process of his removal from office as the deputy governor of Ondo State.

He further sought an order to stop the Chief Judge of Ondo State from accepting or acting upon any request from the House of Assembly of Ondo State to set up any panel to investigate any acts of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor.

Named as defendants in the suit filed by human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, are the Ondo State Government, the Governor of Ondo State, Ondo State House of Assembly, Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Clerk of Ondo State House of Assembly and Chief Judge of Ondo State.

In the affidavit in support of the originating summons, it was stated that the Assembly embarked upon a media trial of the deputy governor purely to scandalise him and incite public opinion against him when indeed no notice of acts of alleged gross misconduct was served on him.

He also accused the Assembly of persecuting him without lawful basis in conspiracy with certain persons who are gladiators in political circles.

Besides, the deputy governor said all attempts made to serve the court processes on the House of Assembly had so far been rebuffed, as policemen at the gate denied access to the court bailiff and also counsel from the office of solicitors to the Claimant.

He narrated his loyalty since he assumed office in the face of the health challenges of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and how he led the state in prayers for the recovery of the governor.

The Deputy Governor denied any act of wrongdoing, stating that he has been loyal to the governor all through their tenure.

In a letter dated September 25, 2023, from the Chambers of Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN) and Co. and delivered to the office of the Chief Judge of Ondo State, copies of the court processes were duly attached for the information of the Chief Judge.

Meanwhile, ORF, a group of professionals of Ondo descent, said NASS intervention was necessary in the overriding interest of the people of the sunshine state and the country at large.

Chairman of the group, Ayodeji Ologun, at a press conference in Akure, said the real issue, as regards the alleged impeachment of Aiyedatiwa, was not about accountability as they want the public to believe, but a vendetta by a class of crass opportunists, who have unfettered access to the resources of the state occasioned by the incapacity of the governor.

“Also, worthy of mention is the fact that since the return of Mr. Akeredolu and his refusal to resume at his official duty post for the governance of the state, a situation that is causing serious apprehension in the state, the state House of Assembly has not been helping matters.

“Rather, the Ondo State House of Assembly, has decided to add salt to injury by instigating violence, anarchy and orchestrating breakdown of law and order by embarking on unjustified and unwarranted process of impeachment of the Deputy Governor Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa,” he said.

Fidelis David in Akure and Wale Igbintade

Follow us on: