Sunday, April 14, 2024

Ondo Assembly suspends impeachment process against Deputy Governor

The Ondo State House of Assembly said it had halted the impeachment proceedings against the state Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

The House said it took the decision during its plenary session on Thursday following the refusal of the state Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to set up a panel to probe the embattled Deputy Governor.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olatunji Oshati, who stated this on Friday, said the House would abide by the order of the court, hence the suspension of the proceedings on the impeachment.

He said, “We have considered the letter which is everywhere in the public domain and we are halting the impeachment process until the order of the Federal High Court is vacated.

“It is not about being arrogant with power, it is about holding public officers accountable. It also shows that the process of impeachment transcends the monopoly of the legislature as we can see that the judiciary has stalled it. This is to show that it is not a witch-hunt, it is about carrying out our oversight functions.”

The CJ had communicated to the Assembly on Wednesday informing it of his inability to set up the panel.

The CJ was said to have cited a subsisting court’s ex parte order restraining him from carrying out the directive of the Assembly.

A source in the Assembly, who confirmed the development said, “The CJ has reached out to Mr Speaker that he cannot set up a seven-member panel to probe the deputy governor as directed by the House, claiming that his hands are tied by the ex parte order issued by Justice Emeka Nwite, stopping the impeachment process.”

Meanwhile, a socio-cultural organisation, under the auspices of the Egbe Omo Ilaje Worldwide has called on President Bola Tinubu and the leadership of Afenifere as well as traditional rulers to intervene in the politics of Ondo State.

The group also expressed concern over the ongoing impeachment process of the deputy governor, which was believed to have been caused by the crisis between him and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.

In a comm uniqué issued at end of the group’s meeting in Akure on Friday by the Secretary-General, Edamisan Ogunfeyijimi, the group said only urgent intervention by the President, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress and relevant stakeholders would ensure stability in the polity and for peaceful coexistence in the state.

It also noted that the state had been in a political crisis since the Assembly commenced the impeachment process against the deputy governor.

It noted, “The National Executive Council and the good people of Ilaje nation call on the state and national leadership of APC and the President, Bola Tinubu, for his urgent intervention and prevailed on the members of Ondo State House of Assembly to discontinue this ill-conceived and politically motivated impeachment plot against His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the deputy governor of Ondo State, to ensure stability in the polity and for the peaceful coexistence in Ondo State.

“As a matter of urgency, our traditional rulers in Ondo State and the Afenifere leaders should intervene by engaging their counterparts and other stakeholders in Ondo State and beyond in a bid to find an amicable resolution to the crisis in order not to plunge the state into an avoidable socio-economic and political crisis.”

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