The Ondo State House of Assembly announced that it has temporarily halted the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the state’s Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa. The decision to suspend the impeachment process was made during the assembly’s plenary session on Thursday, as a result of the refusal by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to assemble a panel for investigating the embattled deputy governor.
Olatunji Oshati, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, confirmed this development during a press briefing on Friday. He emphasized the assembly’s commitment to respecting the orders of the court, and therefore, the impeachment proceedings have been put on hold until further legal clarification is provided.
Oshati stated, “We have considered the letter which is everywhere in the public domain, and we are halting the impeachment process until the order of the Federal High Court is vacated. It is not about being arrogant with power; it is about holding public officers accountable. It also shows that the process of impeachment transcends the monopoly of the legislature as we can see that the judiciary has stalled it. This is to show that it is not about witch-hunting; it is about carrying out our oversight functions.”
The suspension of the impeachment process comes as a response to Justice Olusegun Odusola’s announcement on Wednesday that he is unable to convene the required panel. The Chief Judge cited a standing court’s ex parte order that prevents him from complying with the Assembly’s directive.
A source within the Assembly, who confirmed these developments, stated, “The CJ has reached out to Mr. Speaker that he cannot set up a 7-member panel to probe the deputy governor as directed by the House, claiming that his hands are tied by the ex parte order issued by Justice Emeka Nwite, stopping the impeachment process.”
This development highlights the significance of the judiciary’s role in ensuring the proper legal processes are followed in matters of impeachment. The Ondo State House of Assembly has affirmed its commitment to transparency and accountability in carrying out its oversight functions, as it awaits further legal proceedings regarding the impeachment process.