The Ondo State Chief Judge, Justice Olarenwaju Akeredolu has rejected the request by the Speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly to set up a probe panel against Akeredolu’s Deputy, Agboola Ajayi.
In a swift response from the Chief Judge to the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, the House of Assembly did not meet up the constitutional requirements needed to set up the panel for the impeachment process.
It would be recalled that only 14 members of the assembly had signed an impeachment notice against the deputy governor, giving seven allegations against the deputy.
Meanwhile, 9 other members of the House had also written to the Speaker and the Chief Judge distancing themselves from the impeachment process.
However, the Chief Judge said he relied on the said disparity, that the Assembly failed to form the two-third majority needed for the impeachment of the deputy governor.
From the Letter received by the Chief Judge, and as cited by our correspondent, stated as follows:
The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olarenwaju Akeredolu dated 9th July 2020, the lawmakers urged the Chief Judge to operate within the ambit of the law.
The letter read “Kindly be informed that Nine (9) underlisted elected Honourable Members of Ondo State House of Assembly have duly disassociated ourselves from the ongoing impeachment process of the Deputy Governor, H.E (HON) Agboola Afred Ajayi in a letter dated 7th July, 2020, to the clerk and the Rt. Honourable Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly herewith attached.
“We want to state and confirm to your good office that we maintain our stand by dissociating ourselves from the impeachment process. We are not in support of the impeachment based on our personal conviction.
“We are rest assured that your lordship will uphold section 188 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) particularly section 188 (3)(4)(5)-(11)
“It is equally worthy of note that the total membership of Ondo State House of Assembly is (26) twenty six in which the 2/3 is 18, AND THIS REMAINS THE CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED NUMBER IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY ARBITRARY SUSPENSION
“We are writing to call your attention to the fact that all or some of us who are signatories to this letter may be suspended in order to circumvent the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria, which we all swore to uphold and protect, including your honourable Lordship, as this will be contrary to the laws of the land.
The lawmakers are Iroju Ogundeji (Deputy Speaker), Hon. Jamiu Sulaiman Maito, Hon. Rasheed Olalekan Elegbeleye, Hon. Tomide Leonard Akinribido and Hon. Samuel Edamisan Ademola.
Others are Hon. Favour Semilore Tomomewo, Hon. Festus Akingbaso, Hon. Adewale Williams Adewinle and Hon. Torhukerhijo Success.
Daily Tells Nigeria understands that, the deputy governor of Ondo state had since moved to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP.
But, it would be recalled that the deputy governor came to power as a deputy governor with Akeredolu with a joint ticket sponsored by APC.