The Ondo State House of Assembly has continued the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, despite the intervention from the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The House on Monday asked the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Aiyedatiwa, following the expiration of the interim injunction of the Federal High Court, in Abuja.
Premium Politics reports that the APC NWC constituted a reconciliation committee, chaired by a former governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, to not only intervene but also see to the peaceful reconciliation of all parties involved.
The House earlier agreed to suspend the impeachment process against the embattled deputy governor following the intervention of the APC reconciliation committee.
However, there was a turn of events on Monday, when the House Speaker, Mr Olamide Oladiji, in a letter to the chief judge of the state, said that the interim injunction of the Federal High Court, in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023, has expired by operation of the law.
Oladiji said: “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 levelled by the House against the Deputy-Governor of Ondo State, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, in line with Section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“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 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, given the clear provisions of Order 26 Rule 10 (2) and (3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.
“Your lordship would recall that the ex-parte order was made on September 26, 2023, after which the case was adjourned to October 9, 2023.
“The 3rd Defendant in the case filed a motion on October 4, 2023, to discharge the Order and/or strike out the case for want of jurisdiction.
“14 days from October 4, 2023, when the motion was filed, terminated on or about October 18, 2023.
”The Court has not taken the application or renewed the Order, as evident in the Certified True Copy of the Court’s record of proceedings for October 9, 2023 and October 16, 2023, respectively.
“Given the above facts, 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 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.”
“Recall that the leadership of the party at a joint meeting with the assembly members last week agreed that the impeachment process be suspended to allow peace reign in the party.”