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Impeachment: Ondo Assembly directs Chief Judge to set up panel

…as deputy gov gets notice

The Ondo State House of Assembly has directed that the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olaranwaju Akeredolu should set up a panel to investigate allegations levelled against the Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Judge which was signed by the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, he urged that a seven-man panel be inaugurated to investigate allegations of misconduct against Ajayi.

No fewer than 14 lawmakers had signed an impeachment notice against Ajayi over alleged gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness and abandonment of office, official duties and other assignments among other allegations.

According to the Speaker, the setting up of the panel was in line with the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The letter sent to the Chief Judge which was entitled ‘Request to set up a panel pursuant of S.188(5) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)’ read “you are hereby requested to set up a seven-man panel to investigate the notice of allegations of Gross Misconduct dated 7th July 2020 by members of the House against Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State.

“By the resolution of the House today, pursuant of S.118(3) and (4) of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). It was resolved that the allegations be investigated forthwith.
“It is in line with the above that I request that you setup a seven-man panel to conduct the said investigations as resolved by the Honourable House. And the panel shall, as soon as possible, report back to the House.”

Meanwhile, the Assembly yesterday that it had served the embattled Deputy Governor with an impeachment notice.
The Assembly confirmed yesterday that Ajayi had been duly served with a copy of the impeachment notice.
Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, who disclosed this yesterday, said that the notice was received by the Deputy Governor on Tuesday.
The deputy governor is facing allegations of gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness and abandonment of office, official duties and other assignments among others
This, Adeyelu emphasized that a copy of the notice of the allegations with supporting documents had been forwarded to the Deputy Governor.
Meanwhile, nine members of the Ondo State House Assembly, who distanced themselves from the impeachment plot against the deputy governor has urged the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olarenwaju Akeredolu to operate within the ambit of the law as result of the development.
The nine lawmakers yesterday wrote a letter to Justice Akeredolu, dissociating themselves from the ongoing plans to impeach the deputy governor of the state.
The lawmakers are Iroju Ogundeji (Deputy Speaker), Hon. Jamiu Sulaiman Maito, Hon. Rasheed Olalekan Elegbeleye, Hon. Tomide Leonard Akinribido and Hon. Samuel Edamisan Ademola.
Others are Hon. Favour Semilore Tomomewo, Hon. Festus Akingbaso, Hon. Adewale Williams Adewinle and Hon. Torhukerhijo Success.
In their letter, the lawmakers said they were notifying the Chief Judge following the plans by the leadership of the House to suspend some of them in order to carry out the illegal act.

The letter reads: “Kindly be informed that nine underlisted elected Honourable members of Ondo state House of Assembly have duly dissociated ourselves from the ongoing impeachment process of the Deputy Governor of Ondo state , H.E.( Hon.) Agboola Alfred Ajayi in a letter dated 7th July, 2020 to the Clerk and the Clerk and the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, here with attached.
“We want to state and confirm to your good office that we maintain our stand by dissociating ourselves from the impeachment process. We are not in support of the impeachment based on our individual personal conviction.
“We are rest assured that your Lordship will uphold Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) particularly Section 188 (3) (4) (5) – (11).”

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