Ondo Assembly yields to external influence, ends impeachment trial of Aiyedatiwa; disclosure of resuming dates soon

The stoppage of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s impeachment process was disclosed this Friday by the Ondo State House of Assembly, Naija News states.

According to the Ondo Assembly, the decision made on Thursday in their plenary session to end the impeachment of Aiyedatiwa came after Justice Olusegun Odusola, the state’s Chief Justice, declined to assemble a panel to scrutinize the actions of the deputy governor.

Justice Olusegun Odusola’s rejection of the assembly’s application for a seven-person inquiry committee to interrogate Aiyedatiwa was communicated on this platform on Thursday.

The Ondo State Assembly, in a bid to impeach Aiyedatiwa, had previously reached out to the court to establish an investigative panel, following Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which deals with severe misconduct allegations. This controversial deputy governor has been at the center of this turmoil.

Aiyedatiwa opposed this action by writing a reply to the CJ, asking him to deny the assembly’s appeal for an investigation into his conduct.

With reference to Article 287 (3) of the Constitution, the CJ cited the constraints which prohibited him from taking action on the letter from the House of Assembly.

He stated that the above provision of the Constitution disallowed him from assuming this role due to a directive from a Federal High Court.

Following these events, the Ondo Assembly succumbed to the pressure and asserted it would honor the court directive and end the impeachment trial.

Mr. Olatunji Oshati, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, while reporting the situation to the press, stated that the impeachment proceedings would continue to be on hold until the court order is overturned.

Oshati mentioned: “We have scrutinized the letter, which is now a public document, and we will postpone the impeachment trial until the Federal High Court order is reversed.

“This is not about wielding power arrogantly, but about holding public officers accountable. This also demonstrates that the impeachment procedure is not solely controlled by the legislature but can also be halted by the judiciary. This is evidence that we are not on a witch hunt, but are merely performing our supervision duties.”

A confidential source from the Assembly informed The Punch that the Ondo CJ had reached out to the Speaker to explain his limited jurisdiction in the matter, as he only has to adhere to the court’s restraining order, preventing him from enforcing the Assembly’s directive.

The informant revealed, “The CJ has informed Mr. Speaker that he is unable to establish a seven-member panel to investigate the Deputy Governor in compliance with the Assembly’s request. He stated that his capabilities were limited by the restraining order issued by Judge Emeka Nwite, resulting in the halt of the impeachment trial.”

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