New Telegraph

December 7, 2023

JUST-IN: Court Stops Impeachment Of Ondo Dep Governor

The Ondo State House of Assembly has been prohibited from impeaching Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Deputy Governor of the state, for alleged gross misconduct by the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja.

The Court gave the directive after Kayode Adewusi, the attorney for Aiyedatiwa brought the ex-parte motion in that regard on Tuesday, September 25.

Justice Emeka Nwite issued the interim order to halt the process and also stopped Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from proposing a new deputy governor and sending to the legislature for approval as the state’s deputy governor based on a letter of resignation allegedly written or signed by  Aiyedatiwa, while the interlocutory application was being heard and decided.

Justice Nwite held that after listening to Adewusi, he was of the view that the interest of justice would be served by granting the application, “Therefore, he said the application of the applicant succeeds.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the embattled deputy governor had, in the ex-parte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023, sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).

Others are Gov. Akeredoku, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Judge of Ondo State and the House of Assembly as 1st to 6th respondents respectively.

In the application dated and filed by Mr Adelanke Akinrata on Sept. 21, Aiyedatiwa sought four reliefs.

Ruling on the suit, the judge made an order of interim injunction restraining Akeredolu, his servants or privies from harassing, intimidating, embarrassing and preventing Aiyedatiwa from carrying out the functions of his office as deputy governor of Ondo State pending the hearing and determination of the interlocutory application.

He further gave an order of interim injunction restraining the state’s chief judge or any other person acting for or on his behalf from constituting any seven-man panel at the instance of the assembly’s speaker in respect of the complaint(s) against Aiyedatiwa.


Nwite restrained the chief judge from swearing in any new deputy governor of Ondo State nominated by Akeredolu and the appointment was approved by the speaker and state’s assembly pending the hearing and determination of the Interlocutory application.

The judge, who granted all the reliefs adjourned the matter until Oct. 9 for hearing of the motion on notice.

Earlier, Adewusi said that the application, filed on Sept. 21 was brought pursuant to Order 26, Rules 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the FHC Civil Procedure Rules, 2019 and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

The lawyer said the applicant was the incumbent deputy governor, who was elected into office in October 2020, and took the oath of office on Feb. 24, 2021, alongside Gov. Akeredoku.

According to him, the plaintiff has been discharging his role as deputy governor of Ondo State as assigned to him by the 3rd defendant/respondent (Akeredolu) towards the development of Ondo State.

He said a 27-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Aiyedatiwa himself was filed with a written address in compliance with the rules of the court on Sept. 21 as their argument in urging the court to grant their prayers.

“This application is that the right of the applicant as deputy governor is being infringed upon by the defendants/respondents.

“The 3rd defendant/respondent is instigating the officer of the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents, and the 5th and 6th defendants/respondents.

“As we speak, he has been prevented from meeting, accessing the 3rd defendant)respondent on urgent matters that will allow the applicant to discharge his duty as deputy governor for the overall interest of the state,” he alleged.

The lawyer, who told the court that currently, “Ondo State is on a standstill,” alleged that the officers of the police and DSS, acting under the instruction of Akeredolu, prevented Aiyedatiwa from seeing him, even to the extent of harassing the deputy governor from meeting the governor on pending urgent matters of the state.

“There has been an attempt to remove and replace him and as a law-abiding citizen, he comes before your lordship as his last hope.

“We pray your Lordship to grant our application in the interest of justice,” he said.

Despite a court order, the Ondo State House of Assembly has said it would not be stopped from carrying out its legislative duties of investigating the allegations levelled against the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

A court had earlier issued an ex parte order halting the Assembly from impeaching the deputy governor. But the Assembly said it can’t be stopped by the court order.

It said the impeachment notice served the Deputy Governor outlined 14 specific allegations of gross misconduct which he is required to respond to within 7 days from the day of being served.

The allegations encompassed financial mismanagement, misuse of authority with potential harm to the Ondo state government, and publicized statements in the print media that tarnished the Governor’s reputation.

Speaker of the Ondo Assembly, Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, in a statement issued Tuesday evening, September 26, said the Assembly would strictly follow due process of law as outlined in Section 188(1) – (9) of the Constitution.

According to him, “The House is not unaware of media reports that His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, has rushed to Court to stop the impeachment process.

Media reports even claim he has secured an injunction from a certain Judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to halt the process.

“The House is shocked that rather than wait to be served with notice of the allegation of gross misconduct, and react to same as required by the Constitution, the Deputy Governor has been running from pillar to post and filing multiple suits in both at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court and the Ondo State High Courts in a bid to stop the legislative process.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the House is fully conscious of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which clearly states that “No proceedings or determination of the panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.

“The House has directed its team of Lawyers to investigate the purported injunction secured by the Deputy Governor and report any judicial officer who might have abused his office in granting the unconstitutional ex-parte injunction to the appropriate institution for necessary disciplinary action.

“In conclusion, the House wishes to assure the general public that it would proceed with the legislative process to a logical conclusion, but in doing so, will strictly follow the Constitutional procedures.

“The House will not abdicate or compromise its sacred constitutional duty to hold elected public officers accountable, particularly where there are prima facie serious allegations of corruption and abuse of power levelled against the Deputy Governor in this case.”

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