Twenty-three members of the Oyo State House of Assembly, on Wednesday passed a motion directing the state Chief Judge to appoint a seven-member panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct leveled against the state Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan.
The motion, jointly sponsored by the Majority Leader, Sanjo Adedoyin (Ogbomoso South) and Akintunde Olajide, representing Lagelu State constituency, directed that the panel should report back to the Assembly in three months.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on June 17, a correspondence/petition titled: “Notice of Allegations of Gross Misconduct against the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan” was read at the plenary.
In the petition, the 23 members accused the deputy governor of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, abandonment of office and insubordination.
The lawmakers, thereafter, served the deputy governor and all other members of the legislature a copy of the allegations.
While reading the motion, Adedoyin said that up till now, the deputy governor has not responded to the allegations served him by the assembly.
The motion read: “With this development, the House needs to invoke the provision specified in Section 188 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“In accordance with the provision of Section 188 (4) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to request the Chief Judge of Oyo State to appoint panel of seven persons of unquestionable integrity to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against Mr. Rauf Olaniyan.
“And the panel is to report its findings to the House within three months of its appointment.”
Commenting, the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, said that the issue was no more with the Assembly, as it has been handed over to the State Chief Judge, Justice Muntar Abimbola.
Ogundoyin said: “We have no say, whether Olaniyan is guilty or not. The issue will be determined by the seven members to be constituted by the state Chief Judge.
“We are only working in line with the Constitution. Once the report is submitted within or at the expiration of the three months that is what we are going to act upon.
“We are not in a position to judge in this case. We will ensure due process is followed.
“The vote was unanimous and we shall wait for the outcome of the report and investigation of the panel.”
The legislators, therefore, adjourned plenary until July 19.
NAN recalls that the deputy governor had jointly taken the state House of Assembly; the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin and the House Clerk to court over the impeachment move against him by the lawmakers.
Counsel to the claimant, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), said he received the respondents’ scanned reply to his earlier filed application only on Saturday.
Fashanu had earlier filed an application for an interim injunction restraining the House from taking any step in pursuant of the impeachment suit.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the House, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), said he served his response to the claimant’s application on Friday.
Kalejaiye said that adjourning the case for a long time would delay the House from performing its constitutional duties.
Thereafter, Justice Ladiran Akintola, gave a short adjournment until Wednesday to enable the claimant to serve his reply to the respondents’ interlocutory injunction and originating summons.
Akintola ruled that the state House of Assembly should, however, still maintain status quo on the impeachment process.