You don’t meet constitutional requirements to impeach Deputy Gov. – Ondo Chief Judge

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L-R: Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi; Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu.
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Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, has explained why she could not set up a seven-man investigative panel for the impeachment proceeding against the state’s Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.

The chief judge explained that she could not constitute the panel until all constitutional processes are followed.

It would be recalled that Ondo State Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, had written to the chief judge, informing her that impeachment notice has been served on Ajayi, which was signed by 14 lawmakers.

Oleyelogun informed Justice Akeredolu that setting up of the panel was in line with section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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“By the Resolution of the House today pursuant to Section 188 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended it was resolved that the allegations be investigated forthwith.

“It is in line with the above that we request you set up the seven-man panel to conduct the investigation as resolved by the Honourable House, and the Panel report back to the House,” reads a letter to the chief judge by the speaker.

The chief judge, however, in a letter dated July 9 and addressed to the Speaker, said the lawmakers have not completed the constitutional process that would lead the Speaker to invite her to set up an investigative panel as stipulated by the constitution.

Justice Akeredolu said she also received a letter from Kayode Olatoke SAN that the matter of the impeachment of Ajayi was subjudice.

The chief judge said: “The Deputy Governor, Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi, must be served with notice of impeachment signed by not less than one-third of members of the House of Assembly of the state.

“The notice to be served on him must state that he is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office and must specify the particulars of the gross misconduct.

“He must be allowed to respond to the allegations.

“Within 14 days of receipt of the notice of the Honourable Speaker, whether or not the Deputy Governor responds, the House of Assembly shall pass a resolution supported by not less than two thirds majority of all the members of the House of Assembly that the allegations be investigated.”

Idowu Sowunmi