Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, has written a letter to the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, asking him to obey the court order on the impeachment process.
This development came after the House on Tuesday directed the chief judge to set up a panel to investigate the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor with claims that Aiyedatiwa did not respond to the notice sent to him by the House.
In the letter addressed to the chief judge which was sighted by our correspondent on Thursday, the lawyer stated that it would be a contempt of court to proceed with the impeachment process when the parties are involved in two cases in the Federal High Court in Abuja and the state High Court in Akure.
The letter was titled, ‘Re: Why Ondo State House of Assembly cannot proceed with removal proceedings of the deputy governor of Ondo State’.
In the letter, Adegboruwa exonerated the deputy governor, saying he (Aiyedatiwa) did not respond to the notice sent to his office by the House of Assembly due to the restraining order already issued on the matter by the Federal High Court
The letter read in part, “Under and by virtue of section 287(3) of the Constitution, “all persons and authorities in Nigeria” are to obey and give effect to the orders of the Federal High Court. Our client swore on oath to defend the Constitution and he cannot act against the said Constitution to disobey the valid and subsisting order of the Federal High Court of Nigeria which has halted the removal proceedings.
“Our client has not been personally served with any valid Notice of acts of gross misconduct as required by law. Our client is not in receipt of any valid Notice of acts of gross misconduct properly issued and bearing the authority of the House of Assembly of Ondo State to which he can respond.
“Our client has filed and served two separate applications upon the Ondo State House of Assembly, seeking orders of interlocutory injunction against the removal proceedings and also to stay further proceedings in respect of the invalid notice, which was illegally issued and improperly served.”
Adegboruwa added that since the Assembly had already joined the matter in court over the issue by filing an appeal against the restraining order, it would be against the law to continue with the impeachment process without awaiting the outcome of the case.
“The House of Assembly having submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court by filing processes in Suit No. AK/348/2023 is pending before the High Court in Akure and also purporting to file a complaint before the National Judicial Council in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1249/2023 before the Federal High Court Abuja, is fully aware of and cognizant of the authority of the Court over the subject matter of the removal proceedings against our Client.
“Consequently, it is our considered view that the matter of the planned removal of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State is now subjudice. Parties should follow the due process of law, the House of Assembly itself being a creation of law, seeking to implement the provisions of law, rightly or wrongly. It cannot and should not be allowed to take the law into its own hands by openly disregarding a subsisting order of the court and other court processes duly served upon it.”