The Ondo State House of Assembly has directed its lawyers to investigate the court order stopping it from impeaching the Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Naija News reported that a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday had halted the Ondo assembly from impeaching Aiyedatiwa over alleged gross misconduct.
The court also restrained the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, from nominating a new deputy governor and forwarding the same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by the Speaker, Oladiji Adesanmi, the assembly said it served Aiyedatiwa the notice of impeachment within seven days after it was signed by more than one-third of the members of the house as required under section 188(2) of the constitution.
The assembly said it was shocked that rather than react, the deputy governor rushed to court and filed multiple suits “in a bid to stop the legislative process”.
It said it is fully conscious of section 188 (10) of the constitution, which 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 statement reads: “In the case of Abaribe V. Abia State House of Assembly (2022) 14 NWLR (Pt. 788) 466, the Court of Appeal emphatically stated that it was wrong for the Appellant to jump the gun by rushing to the Court to stop his impeachment process on the ground of alleged breach of fair hearing when the panel to investigate and hear him had not even been constituted.
“The Court of Appeal then restated that by the provision of Section 188 (10) of the Constitution, no court has the jurisdiction at that stage to interfere in the legislative proceedings for impeachment.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly restated that the Court can only intervene when the procedures for impeachment have been breached.
“In this case, however, the Deputy Governor rushed to court even before the notice of impeachment was served on him.
“For the records, no procedures have been breached in any way.
“In view of these, 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.”
The House of Assembly assured the public that it would proceed with the legislative process to a logical conclusion and would strictly follow the constitutional procedures.
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