Impeachment Saga: We Are Not Part Of APC’s Reconciliation Committee – Ondo Assembly.

The Ondo State House of Assembly has said it is not part of the reconciliation committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to intervene in the crisis of impeaching the state’s deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

The Ondo Assembly on Monday said since it was not included in the reconciliation committee, the Chief Judge should go ahead to set up a panel to investigate Aiyedatiwa, Streetdope reports.

It would be recalled that the deputy governor had, through his Counsel, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa (SAN), written the Chief Judge of the state, Olusegun Odusola, asking him to ignore the directive of the House of Assembly to set up a seven-person panel to investigate him.

But in response to this, the Ondo Assembly, through its lawyer, Barr. Femi Emodamori said that the ex parte order had since been elapsed, and the court had not renewed it.

In a statement titled “Ondo Assembly Not Part Of APC Reconciliation”, signed by the Lawyer, the Ondo Assembly said that the report of today’s court session at the Federal High Court, Abuja, was distorted.

Emodamori also noted that the Assembly was not part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) reconciliation as it was only awaiting the ruling tomorrow of the court on Tuesday.

He said, “I have read some grossly distorted and tendencious online reports about the proceedings of the Federal High Court, Abuja, today, 9th October 2023, in the case instituted by the Ondo State Deputy Governor to stop his impeachment.

“Because of the huge public interest in the case, I feel obliged to correct the distortions.

The respected learned Counsel for the Plaintiff had urged the Court to adjourn the case sine die (indefinitely) on two grounds.

”His first ground was that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had set up a Reconciliation Committee to look into some of the issues and that there was a need for the Court to also promote reconciliation by adjourning indefinitely.

“His second ground was that the Ondo State House of Assembly (my Client) had written a petition to the National Judiciary Council (NJC) against the Judge, signifying loss or lack of confidence in his lordship, consequent upon which the Judge ought to adjourn indefinitely to await the determination of NJC.

The Counsel alleged that the House used derogatory words against the Judge in the Petition.”

He said that while responding to the deposition of the Claimant Counsel, “I submitted on behalf of my Client, just like all the other respected Counsel for the other Defendants in the case, that we had actually prevailed on our Client to withdraw the Petition, and the Petition had been withdrawn on Friday 6th October 2023; in which case, it cannot be used as an excuse to seek an indefinite adjournment.

“I fully apologised to the Court for any wrong choice of words in the Petition, which was authored and signed by my Client.”

The Ondo Assembly lawyer maintained that his clients are not privy to the APC reconciliation Committee,  and since media reports state that the Committee is to reconcile the Ondo State Governor and his Deputy, the assembly has nothing to do with that.

He noted that impeachment was pure legislative proceedings. “In any event, I submitted further, Ondo State House of Assembly comprises members from different political parties, and not just APC.

“Again, we submitted that based on Section 188 (1)-(9) of the Constitution, every stage in the impeachment process is time-bound, and that adjourning the case indefinitely with an ex parte order in place would amount to an invitation to constitutional anarchy.”

Based on various submissions of Counsel, he revealed that “His lordship agreed that the issue of jurisdiction must first be decided. His lordship refused the application to adjourned sine die, and instead adjourned the case till 16th October for applications challenging the Court’s jurisdiction to be heard and determined.”

He, however, stated that the Claimant (deputy governor) only served his client (the State House of Assembly) today the Originating Summons filed as far back as 21st September 2024 and the ex parte order made by the Court as far back as 26th October 2023, thereby confirming his repeated public assertions that his Client was never served any of those processes.

Happily, the Court duly noted the fact that we were just served in the open Court today in its record. We have applied for the Certified True Copy of the record of proceedings.

Instructively, the Court also failed to renew the ex parte order for an injunction. Under the Federal High Court Rules, the ex parte order would lapse 14 days after service, unless the Judge renews it, particularly in this case against the Chief Judge of Ondo State. The 14 days, in the case of the Chief Judge of Ondo State, from my simple arithmetic, expires tomorrow, 10th October, 2023,” he submitted.