The impeachment process of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, has reportedly suffered a setback, according to The Punch.
This follows the disagreement that recently ensued among members of the state House of Assembly over the process.
It was reported that the assembly had written to the state Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the deputy governor twice but none had succeeded.
The first request by the assembly was turned down by the CJ on the grounds that there was a subsisting court order which should be vacated before any panel could be set up.
Days after, the House wrote another letter to the CJ to constitute the panel.
The letter was signed by the Speaker, Mr Olamide Oladiji, but the request had not been responded to by the head of the state judiciary.
However, 11 members of the assembly, including two principal officers, have dissociated themselves from the letter, saying they were not in support of the letter as the party had already started a move to adopt a political solution to the lingering crisis between the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, and his deputy.
According to a statement released on Friday, the 11 members include, Japheth Oluwatoyin, Jide Oguntodu, Tiamiyu Atere, Gbegudu Ololade and Allen Oluwatoyin.
Other are Abitogun Stephen, Tope Komolafe, Afe Felix, Oladapo Biola, Fayemi Olawumi and Oshati Olatunji.
The statement read in parts, “As members of the 10th Assembly of Ondo State House of Assembly, we wish to inform the public and the good people of Ondo State that the letter purported to have been written by members of the 10th Assembly of Ondo State House of Assembly, signed by Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly, dated 23rd October 2023, transmitted to the Chief Judge of Ondo State, requesting the chief judge to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor of Ondo State came to us on social media as a rude shock, as the said letter did not emanate from any of the sittings of members of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
“We wish to state further that the decision to transmit such letter by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Oladiji Olamide, to the Chief Judge of Ondo State, in our view, is in the least unwarranted and uncalled for in the light of the order of interim injunction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which restrained the Speaker and other respondents, 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 statement read further, “The National Leaders of the All Progressives Congress invited all the members of the party in the Assembly to the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja and pleaded for an amicable and political solution to the issue of the impeachment process. Without hesitation, the request was acceded to. It will be untidy in our view to get back to Ondo State and act otherwise.
“The decision to transmit the purported letter of Ondo State House of Assembly. dated 23rd October 2023, signed by Rt. Hon Oladiji Olamide 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 of Ondo State.”
Confirming the development, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr. Olatunji Oshati, said the members that signed the statement were for peace and are in support of the political solution move by the national leadership of the APC.
“The press statement emanated from us. If you look at the content of the letter, it addressed a particular point—the last letter sent to the Chief Judge of Ondo State by the Speaker.
“The speaker did not consult well. It has to be a collective responsibility because we have lawyers among us who normally advise us on the implications of some of the things we do when it comes to legal issues. That’s why they hammered on the last letter being contentious as long as the vacation on the injunction has not been removed.
“We are after due process, as we promised the people of Ondo State. And since the national body of our party (APC) has intervened, we believe in exploring the reconciliatory move because the two gladiators are our fathers; they are the leaders,” Oshati explained.
It was, however, gathered that the remaining members of the Assembly were on the same page with the speaker over the matter.
In a reaction, the Majority Leader, Mr. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, denied the report of crisis in the House as he declared that there was no division in the House.
“The House is in order, though some people are trying to play politics to divide us but it is not possible. We are together, the House is not divided,” Ogunmolasuyi stated.