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Assembly begins Ondo dep gov’s impeachment process

Nine lawmakers kick lAgboola: I’m not bothered

There was shouting match among lawmakers of the Ondo State House of Assembly yesterday over the move to impeach the embattled deputy governor of the state, Hon. Agboola Ajayi. During the plenary, 14 out of the 26 lawmakers signed the impeachment notice against Ajayi. According to the petition received by the House, the deputy governor was accused of gross misconduct, financial recklessness and abandonment of office, among other allegations.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, had stated at the floor of the House that he personally received the petitions, but did not mention the source. Oleyelogun noted that the constitution empowers the Assembly to investigate allegation and proceed on impeachment of the deputy governor if and when necessary. He, therefore, ordered the Clerk to immediately serve the embattled deputy governor notice of impeachment.

However, the Deputy Speaker of the assembly, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, as well as others, were shouted down by the Speaker when attempting to contribute to the motion with the motion subsequently put into voice votes. Hon. Jamiu Maito, the Majority Leader, therefore, moved a motion for adjournment till today and was seconded by Oluyede Fayide. Speaking to newsmen after the plenary, Hon. Festus Akingbaso, representing Idanre Constituency, said that the impeachment notice was unconstitutional, saying that it will not stand because it did not meet twothirds requirement. However, Hon. Olugbenga Omole, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, said that the ranting from some lawmakers was needless; noting that the impeachment order is a process which does not require two-thirds of the members of the assembly.

“The House reconvened today after a month recess. We did what we have to do, we reconsidered the OSOPADEC Bill for 2020 and we received a petition against the deputy governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi and we are working on it. “The first process here was that 14 members signed a notice of impeachment which is the first step. “Those people ranting don’t know the procedure. It’s a process and the process is on and it shall be concluded. “Two-thirds of 26 is 18. Impeachment is a process. In fact, it is only nine that we needed for what we needed today, that is one-third and 14 signed and there were all at the plenary today. Like I said, it is a process. “There are various petitions from citizens of Ondo State and we are working on all the petitions before us.

“I don’t know if the deputy governor has taken the Assembly to court. I’m not aware of any letter, you can ask the clerk.” Meanwhile, the impeachment proceeding against Ajayi might have suffered a setback as nine members of the Assembly refused to be part of the move.

The nine lawmakers led by the deputy speaker, Iroju Ogundeji and the Majority Leader, Jamiu Maito, dissociated themselves from the purported impeachment process over what they described as personal convictions. According to the nine members, the 14 members who claimed to have signed the notice failed to meet twothirds majority as stipulated in the constitution, maintaining that such move will not work out. When contacted, the deputy governor, Ajayi said that he was yet to be served with the impeachment notice, stressing that he is not bothered with the development as he emphasized that the issue was already before the court.

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