Impeachment: Abuja Court Denies Ondo Speaker’s Application Against Deputy Governor

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected an application filed by Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, seeking an expedited hearing of the Ondo lawmakers’ appeal against the Federal High Court’s interim injunction preventing impeachment proceedings against the state’s Deputy Governor, Aiyedatiwa Lucky.

In their application, the appellants requested an abridgement of time to file brief of arguments, citing alleged gross misconduct by the deputy governor as the basis for initiating the impeachment proceedings on September 20, 2023.

However, Aiyedatiwa secured an interim injunction on September 26, blocking any impeachment actions.

Joined as respondents were the Inspector General of Police, State Security Services, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, and the Chief Judge of Ondo State.

The appellants argued that the Federal High Court’s decision created a constitutional crisis regarding its jurisdiction over time-sensitive legislative processes.

“Ever since the interim injunction was granted, there has been series of protests in Ondo state and there are palpable fears that the security situation in the state will further deteriorate in view of the interim injunction,” the appellants argued,saying the grant of their application as well as the expeditious hearing of the appeal is in the interest of justice for all the parties,” said the appellants.

Despite their claims of unrest and fears of worsening security conditions in Ondo State due to the interim injunction, the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, ruled on Monday that there were no exceptional reasons justifying approval of the Ondo Speaker’s application.

The deputy governor, through his representative Adelanke A., asserted that the impeachment moves were initiated unilaterally by the Speaker and some lawmakers, allegedly under the governor’s influence.

He contended that, during the governor’s illness and medical leave abroad, he was denied the opportunity to serve as acting governor, violating his fundamental rights.

Ruling on the application on Monday, a three-man panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani agreed with the deputy governor, saying “I am of the view that no exceptional reason has been adduced by the appellants/applicant to warrant the grant of this application. This application is therefore refused.”

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