The move to impeach the Deputy Speaker of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, might have again hit the rocks following the resolve of 11 out of 26 State House of Assembly members to distance themselves from the process.
The 11 lawmakers accused the Speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, of unilaterally writing the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to set up a seven-man probe panel against Aiyedatiwa despite a subsisting court order, reports The Guardian.
According to the lawmakers, in a statement, they got to know about the letter on social media, a move they claimed was uncalled for, with the subsisting ex-parte order of an Abuja High Court as well as moves by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to resolve the political crisis in the state.
The 11 lawmakers include the Minority Leader, Jide Oguntodu, the Assembly’s Spokesperson, Olatunde Oshati, Japheth Oluwatoyin, Fatai Atere, Gbegudu Ololade, Allen Oluwatoyin, Stephen Abitogun, Tope Komolafe, Felix Afe, Biola Oladapo, and Olawumi Fayemi.
The Speaker had a few days ago directed the Chief Judge to constitute the panel over the 14 allegations levelled against Aiyedatiwa, as he cited the expiration of an ex-parte order given by an Abuja Federal High Court. Justice Odusola had earlier declined the initial request of the Assembly based on the order.
While emphasising that they have nothing against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Oshati, who confirmed the authenticity of the statement to The Guardian, disclosed that the development bothered on internal conflict and the need for the Assembly to follow due process.
“We wish to state further that the decision to transmit such a letter by the speaker, Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, to the Chief Judge of Ondo State is, in our view, the least unwarranted and uncalled for,” Oshati said.
“The order of interim injunction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja Division, of the 21st day of September, 2023, which has restrained the speaker and Ondo State House of Assembly, as 4th and 6th respondents, respectively, is still subsisting since it has neither been vacated nor set aside. For us to act in contravention of the subsisting order of the court will certainly be contemptuous.
“The National Leaders of the All Progressive Congress, on October 17, 2023, invited all the members of the Party, of the Ondo State House’ of Assembly, to the National Secretariat of the Party and pleaded for an amicable and political solution to the issue of the impeachment process initiated by the House against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.
“Without hesitation, the request was acceded to, in the interest of the party and the peace of Ondo State, by the state chairman of the APC, Engr. Ade Adetimehin and Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, consequently addressed the press immediately after the meeting. It will be untidy in our view to get back to Ondo State if we act otherwise.
The lawmakers added that “the decision to transmit the purported letter of the Ondo State House of Assembly, dated October 23, 2023, signed by Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, was taken without a formal sitting of the House and our knowledge as members of the 10th Assembly.
“It is our considered view that we should be honourable indeed by standing with our acceptance at the Abuja meeting to suspend the impeachment process and allow for an amicable and political solution to the issue for the benefits of governance and peace in On