A sharp division has hit the Ondo State House of Assembly over the move by the lawmakers to continue the impeachment process against the embattled deputy governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Some of the lawmakers led by the spokesman of the Assembly, Oshati Olatunji, have distanced themselves from a letter sent by the speaker of the Assembly and addressed to the state Chief Justice.
The speaker of the Assembly, Oladiji Olamide, had written to the Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate allegations of gross misconduct levelled against Aiyedatiwa, saying the restraining order by a Federal High Court in Abuja had elapsed.
But the lawmakers in a letter sent to the Chief Justice, said the speaker’s letter did not emanate from any of the sittings of members of the Ondo state House of Assembly.
They maintained that the interim injunction of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court still subsists, adding that it was neither vacated nor set aside.
The lawmakers said it would be contemptuous for them to act in contravention of the subsisting order of the Court.
Those that signed the letter were Hon. Japheth Oluwatoyin, Hon. Jide Oguntodu, Hon. Tiamiyu Fatai Atere, Hon. Gbegudu Ololade, Hon Allen Oluwatoyin, Hon. Abitogun Stephen, Hon. Tope Komolafe, Hon. (Barr) Afe Felix, Hon. Oladapo Biola, Hon. Fayemi Olawumi, Hon. Oshati Olatu.
The letter read: “The decision to transmit the purported letter of Ondo State House of Assembly dated 23rd October 2023, signed by Rt. Hon Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi was taken without a formal sitting of the House and our knowledge as members of the 10th Assembly.
“It is our considered view that we should be honourable indeed by standing with our acceptance at the Abuja meeting to suspend the impeachment process and allow for an amicable and political solution to the issue for the benefits of governance and peace of Ondo State.
“In the light of the foregoing, we the undersigned members of Ondo State House of Assembly, wish to dissociate ourselves from the letter titled: Request to Constitute a Seven-man panel, to investigate the Allegation of Gross Misconduct Against the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.”
Oshati, who confirmed the contents of the letter, said they were not properly consulted.
He said: “The letter is true. It actually emanated from us. If you look at the content of the letter, it addressed a particular point—the last letter sent to the Chief Judge of Ondo State by the Speaker.
“The speaker did not consult well. It has to be a collective responsibility because we have lawyers among us who normally advise us on the implications of some of the things we do when it comes to legal issues. That’s why they hammered on the last letter being contentious as long as the vacation on the injunction has not been removed.
“It is just an inter-house conflict, but unfortunately, people coloured it and gave it so many meanings. But the content of that letter said it all.
“We are after due process, as we promised the people of Ondo State. And since the national body of our party (APC) has intervened, we believe in exploring the reconciliatory move because the two gladiators are our fathers; they are the leaders”
Kazeem Badmus is a graduate of Mass Communication with years of experience. A professional in journalism and media writing, Kazeem prioritses accuracy and factual reportage of issues. He is also a dexterous finder of the truth with conscious delivery of unbiased and development oriented stories.