Ondo State House of Assembly has reordered the Chief Judge of the state to constitute a 7-Person investigation panel to investigate the impeachable allegations levelled against the state Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, during the plenary, told the Assembly that the deputy governor has failed to reply the Assembly on the allegations levelled against him.
The lawmakers had last Monday written to the Chief Judge to constitute the investigation panel but the Chief Judge had probably refused to obey the House of Assembly’s due to a court injunction granted the deputy governor restraining the lawmakers and the Chief Judge from proceeding with the Impeachment process commenced by the Assembly.
But the Assembly has today(Monday)commenced with the impeachment process without recourse to the court injunction.
Last Monday the Assembly had, before the expiration of the seven days given the deputy governor to reply the allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office levelled against him, written to the Chief Judge to constitute a 7-person investigation panel to investigate the deputy governor.
The Assembly had forwarded a letter to the deputy governor to defend himself on 14 allegations levelled against him.
It could not be ascertained whether the Chief Judge would follow the order of the Assembly and constitute the 7-person panel despite the court injunction restraining the Assembly and the Chief Judge from continuing with the impeachment process of the deputy governor.
In his address, the Speaker said: “Concerted efforts were made to serve the Notice on the Deputy Governor who for some time was not available for the service, prompting the House to approach the court for a substituted service of the Notice on the Deputy Governor.
“On 25th of September, 2023 a substituted service of the notice of allegations was made on the Deputy Governor duly signed by more than one-third Honourable Members of the House as required by the Constitution in Section 188 Sub-section 2.
“Distinguished colleagues, Section 188 of the Constitution states further that the Deputy Governor has 7 days within which to reply to the allegations leveled against him.
“The Constitution states further that within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions of this section, the Chief Judge of the State shall at the request of the speaker of the House of Assembly, appoint a panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation(s) has provided in this section.
“Distinguished colleagues, I, therefore, wish to seek your opinion to direct the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Hon. Justice Olusegun Ayedun Odusola to in line with this section of the constitution set up a seven man panel to investigate the Deputy Governor on the allegations leveled against him.”
The Speaker, therefore, redirected the Clerk, Jaiyeola Benjamin to write to Chief Judge of the state to constitute the panel.
The Majority Leader, Mr Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi,( Owo 1/APC), moved the motion for the Notice on the Ondo State Impeachment Panel Procedure Rules that the panel should be constituted by the Chief Judge of the state.The motion was seconded by Hon Afe Felix (Akoko North West 2)
Ogunmolasuyi said: “In line with the express provision of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution, the Panel shall not entertain or be bound by any court order or decision questioning or interfering with its proceedings.
“The parties to the petition shall have the right to appear in person or through their legal practitioners.
“Upon the conclusion of its investigation and within three months after its inauguration, the Panel shall submit its Report to the House of Assembly in whatever form it considers most efficient and serve a copy of it on the office holder.”