Indication emerged on Thursday that the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu, has rejected a letter written by the House of Assembly for the constitution of the seven-man panel to probe the state Deputy Governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi.
The Chief Judge predicated her action on the fact that the figure required by the 1999 Constitution for setting up of such a probe panel has not been met.
Only 14 out of the 26 members of the House of Assembly signed the impeachment notice; with 9 members dissociating themselves from the impeachment plot.
The 9 anti-impeachment members of the House have also written a letter to the Chief Judge, Justice Akeredolu, dissociating themselves from the ongoing plans to impeach the deputy governor of the state.
The lawmakers are Rt. Hon. Iroju Ogundeji (Deputy Speaker), Hon. Jamiu Sulaiman Maito, Hon. Rasheed Olalekan Elegbeleye, Hon. Tomide Leonard Akinribido and Hon. Samuel Edamisan Ademola.
Others are Hon. Favour Semilore Tomomewo, Hon. Festus Akingbaso, Hon. Adewale Williams Adewinle and Hon (Barr.) Torhukerhijo Success.
In their open letter, the lawmakers said they are notifying the Chief Judge based on the plans by the leadership of the House to suspend some of them in order to carry out the illegal act.
The letter had said “Kindly be informed that nine underlisted elected Honourable members of Ondo state House of Assembly have duly dissociated ourselves from the ongoing impeachment process of the Deputy Governor of Ondo state, H.E. (Hon.) Agboola Alfred Ajayi in a letter dated 7th July, 2020 to the Clerk and and the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, here with attached.
“We want to state and confirm to your good office that we maintain our stand by dissociating ourselves from the impeachment process. We are not in support of the impeachment based on our individual personal conviction.
“We are rest assured that your Lordship will uphold Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) particularly Section 188(3)(4)(5) – (11).
“It is equally worthy of note that the total membership of Ondo state House of Assembly is 26 in which 2/3 is 18 and this remains the constitutionally required number irrespective of any arbitrary suspension.
“We are writing to call your attention to the fact that all or some of us who are signatories to this letter may be suspended in order to circumvent the provision of the constitution of Nigeria, which we all swore to uphold and protect, including your honourable Lordship; as this will be contrary to the laws of the land.”
A source in the Assembly said the pro-impeachment lawmakers have returned to the Assembly to use the attendance register used during the plenary sitting of the lawmakers to convince the Chief Judge that they have met the constitutional requirement.
The anti-impeachment lawmakers have vowed to resist the plan to impeach the Deputy Governor without following the due process of the law.