Monday, September 25, 2023

Ondo deputy gov. asks court to stop assembly from proceeding with impeachment moves

The defendants in the suit are the Ondo State government, the governor, the Ondo Assembly, its speaker and clerk and the state chief judge.

• September 25, 2023
Lucky Aiyedatiwa
Lucky Aiyedatiwa [Credit: Twitter]

Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the deputy governor of Ondo, has approached the state High Court in Akure to stop members of the state House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him.

The development came amid the impeachment move against Mr Aiyedatiwa by the lawmakers over allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office. 

In a suit no. AK/348/2023 filed at the High Court in Akure on Monday, Mr Aiyedatiwa sought a declaration that the House of Assembly is not competent to proceed with his impeachment in breach of his constitutional and fundamental rights to a fair hearing. 

In the copy of the suit obtained by Peoples Gazette, the deputy governor sought the declaration that sacking of his media aides and subjecting him to the Ministry of Information headed by a commissioner amounts to a breach of his rights and privileges as a deputy governor.

He also wants a declaration that the constitution protects his office, tenure, status, rights, and privileges.

Mr Aiyedatiwa sought the declaration that in the determination of his civil rights and obligations as a deputy governor by the assembly, he is entitled to a fair hearing and that, given the utterances and conduct of the lawmakers so far, there is a likelihood of bias against him in the impeachment process.

According to him, the assembly constituted itself into accuser, investigator, prosecutor and judge by conducting media trials against him without giving him any notice of gross misconduct.

He also seeks an order to stop the Ondo chief judge from accepting or acting upon any request from the state assembly to set up any panel to investigate any acts of gross misconduct against him.

Human rights lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, filed the suit on behalf of Mr Aiyedatiwa before the state High Court. 

The defendants in the suit are the Ondo State government, the governor, the Ondo Assembly, its speaker and clerk and the state chief judge.

Last week, lawmakers, during a plenary session, began an impeachment process against Mr Aiyedatiwa over allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office. 

The lawmakers alleged that the deputy governor approved millions of naira to purchase a bulletproof SUV for his personal use.

They also noted that Mr Aiyedatiwa allegedly asked that the money be sourced from the state palliative fund and gave the approval while Mr Akeredolu was recuperating in Germany.

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