Ondo State House of Assembly, yesterday, promised not to deviate from the dictates of the Constitution, in its bid to probe allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the embattled Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Mr. Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi, said this in Akure, following the refusal of the Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to set up a probe panel to investigate Mr. Aiyedatiwa.
The Chief Judge had cited an interim order by the Abuja Federal High Court as a reason for declining to carry out the directive of the assembly.
Reacting to the Chief Judge’s decision, Ogunmolasuyi said: “The ex parte order ought to have expired on Tuesday but we will still take a look at it.
“Section 188 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, was explicit on the process for the impeachment of a governor or deputy governor of a state. The Ondo State Assembly would not deviate from the dictates of the constitution on the impeachment process.”
Why I can’t set up probe panel—Chief Judge
Meanwhile, the Chief Judge, Justice Odusola, in his letter to the Speaker of the assembly, Mr Olamide Oladiji, with ref no. CROD/1123/V.3/, dated October 6, 2023, cited Section 287(3) of the Constitution as the reason he cannot act on the letter from the House.
Odusola said he was barred from performing the function by an order of a Federal High Court.
The letter reads: “Your letter reference NO: ODHA/98/253/406 of October 3, 2023, in respect of the above matter refers. I wish to inform you that on 28 September 2023, I was served with an Order of interim injunction granted by the Federal High Court, Abuja, Coram: Justice Emeka Nwite, in Suit No: FHC/AB/CS/1294/2023 dated September 26, 2023, in respect of this subject matter.
“Order 4 therein restrains the Chief Judge of Ondo State from ‘constituting any seven-man panel at the instance of the 4th Defendant-Respondent in respect of the complaint of the plaintiff’ among others.
“I am not unmindful of Section 188(10) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended which provides as follows: ‘No proceedings or determination of the Panel or the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceeding or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court’.
“Notwithstanding the above provision, a Court order is binding until set aside either by a Court of coordinate jurisdiction or by an appellate court.”