The Ondo State House of Assembly has vowed to go ahead with the impeachment proceedings against the Deputy Governor of the State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, despite the lawsuit he filed to stop the move. Aiyedatiwa had asked an Akure High Court to stop the House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment plans against him.
But in a statement signed by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, the lawmakers have assured the general public that it would proceed with the legislative process to a logical conclusion, but in doing so, will strictly follow the Constitutional procedures. The House said it “will not abdicate or compromise its sacred constitutional duty to hold elected public officers accountable, particularly where there are prima facie serious allegations of corruption and abuse of power levelled against the Deputy Governor in this case.”
To back its decision to proceed with the impeachment process, the House referred to the case of Abaribe V. Abia State House of Assembly (2022) 14 NWLR (Pt. 788) 466, where it noted that the Court of Appeal emphatically stated that it was wrong for the Appellant to jump the gun by rushing to the Court to stop his impeachment process on the ground of alleged breach of fair hearing when the panel to investigate and hear him had not even been constituted. “The Court of Appeal then restated that by the provision of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution, no court has the jurisdiction at that stage to interfere in the legislative proceedings for impeachment.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly restated that the Court can only intervene when the procedures for impeachment have been breached. In this case however, the Deputy Governor rushed to court even before the notice of impeachment was served on him. For the records, no procedures have been breached in any way.
“In view of these, the House has directed its team of Lawyers to investigate the purported injunction secured by the Deputy Governor and report any judicial officer who might have abused his office in granting the unconstitutional ex-parte injunction to the appropriate institution for necessary disciplinary action,” the statement said.