New twists in impeachment plot against Ondo deputy gov

*Deputy urges court to quash impeachment plot as Speaker alleges threat to life

By John Odunjo

As Ondo State House of Assembly says it has begun impeachment process against the Deputy Governor, Lucky Ayedatiwa, over allegations of gross misconduct, the deputy governor says he is yet to be served with any notice by the legislative body.

However, Ayedatiwa on Monday approached an Ondo State High Court to stop the House of Assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him, pending the hearing and determination of the suit that he has filed in court.

The Suit No. AK/348/2023 was filed at an Ondo State High Court in Akure on Monday September 25, 2023, on the deputy governor’s behalf by human rights lawyer and legal luminary, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN.

Named as defendants in the suit are the Ondo State Government, the Governor of Ondo State, Ondo State House of Assembly, the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, the Clerk of Ondo State House of Assembly and the Chief Judge of the state.

Among others, Ayedatiwa is seeking a declaration that the House of Assembly is not competent to proceed on his impeachment in breach of his constitutional and fundamental rights to fair hearing.

Aiyedatiwa sought for orders of injunction to stop the House of Assembly from initiating, continuing or proceeding with the process of his removal from office as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.

He also sought an order to stop the Chief Judge of Ondo State from accepting or acting upon any request from the House of Assembly of Ondo State to set up any panel to investigate any acts of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor.

The deputy governor said in conducting media trials against him without serving him with any notice of gross misconduct, the House Assembly has constituted itself into accuser, investigator, prosecutor and the judge.

Earlier, the deputy governor had in a statement said, “It is pertinent to put on record that as at today, Monday, September 25, 2023, I have not received any official communication or any “letter of allegations of gross misconduct” from the Ondo State House of Assembly.

“I find it especially worrying that the spokesman of the House of Assembly would go on national television to speak on such matter without any evidence to show that such letter has been delivered to me. A sensitive constitutional matter of this nature; impeachment process should not be conducted on the pages of newspapers and television screens.

“In effect, I reiterate that if such “letter of allegations of gross misconduct” against me exists, I have not seen it and I have not been served. I therefore urge Mr Speaker, The Honourable Chief Judge of Ondo State and members of the public to take note”.

However, tension rose on Monday morning in Akure, the state capital, when a “mysterious sacrifice/fetish objects laced with bird charm” was found at the main gate of the Speaker’s Lodge.

Sources expressed possible connection between the sacrifice and the impeachment plot against the deputy governor.

The Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, called on security agencies to save his soul and that of other members of the House following threats to their lives since the commencement of the impeachment process.

Oladiji said, “I have not been using the place except sometimes for parliamentary meetings. At least, we have been there for more than two times for meetings, but I don’t sleep there because the place requires overhauling with its present state.

“Early this morning, we discovered that a sacrifice was placed in the lodge. Aside that, I have been receiving strange calls from strange people threatening my life and other members. There have been a lot of pressure on me.

“I am using the medium to tell the world that my life is under threat. I call on the security operatives to checkmate these people who have been threatening my life and other members,” the Speaker said.

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