The Ondo State House of Assembly has resumed the impeachment process against the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The lawmakers during a meeting held last week with the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, and the reconciliation committee headed by former Katsina State governor, Aminu Masari, in Abuja, resolved to suspend the impeachment proceeding against the deputy governor.
The parliament last month initiated the impeachment process against Aiyedatiwa over alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office during his time as acting governor of the state.
The lawmakers announced their resolve to resume the process in a letter signed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, and addressed to the Ondo State Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola.
In the letter seen by journalists on Monday, the House asked the chief judge to constitute a panel to investigate the allegations against the deputy governor.
The decision, according to the lawmakers, followed the expiration of the interim injunction issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Emeka Nwite on September 26 restrained the lawmakers from impeaching the deputy governor.
The judge, who gave the order in an ex parte motion filed by Aiyedatiwa through his counsel, Kayode Adewusi, also restrained Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy governor and forwarding the same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
The letter read: “The Ondo State House of Assembly had on 3rd October 2023 requested your lordship to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct leveled by the House against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa, in line with Section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“In a reply letter dated October 6, 2023, your lordship acknowledged and quoted Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which states that “No proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly or the panel or any matter relating so such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.
“Your lordship, however, opined that until the ex parte order made on September 26, 2023, by the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court restraining you from setting up the panel was either vacated or set aside, your hands would continue to be tied.
“However, from the facts and legal advice at the disposal of the House, the said order has now elapsed and/or become extinguished by the operation of the law, in view of the clear provisions of Order 26 Rule 10 (2) & (3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019.
“Your lordship would agree that the said order has elapsed by the operation of the law, and no longer constitutes an encumbrance for your lordship to discharge the sacred constitutional obligation placed on your office by virtue of Section 188 (5) of the Constitution to set up the seven-man panel.
“Consequently, the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly hereby calls on your lordship to kindly constitute the Panel without any further delay.”