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Ondo Deputy Governor wants 26 lawmakers to be jailed for plotting to impeach him

Ifeanyi ugo

July. 11, 2020

Agboola Ajayi, Ondo State Deputy Governor asked the Federal High Court in Akure to jail the 26 members of the state House of Assembly for “deliberately plotting and executing plans to impeach him.”
In a suit filed on Friday, July 10, 2020, the deputy governor asked the court to sentence the lawmakers to one-year imprisonment for instituting an impeachment process against him despite his suit filed at the Abuja division of the court challenging the move.
After Ajayi dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in June, members of the state House of Assembly loyal to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, reportedly started plotting an impeachment process against the deputy governor.
On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, 14 of the lawmakers signed the notice of impeachment of the deputy governor while nine others opposed it.
Meanwhile, Chief Judge of the State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu has rejected the lawmakers’ request to set up a panel to investigate allegations against the deputy governor.
In a letter addressed to the House Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun , the Chief Judge said the request is not in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Ondo House of Assembly (Ondostatemoigovng)
The deputy governor has also contended through his lawyers, Dr Joshua Olatoke (SAN) and Babs Akinwumi, that the lawmakers' action of continuing with the impeachment process despite his pending suit amount to contempt of court.
In an affidavit filed in support of the suit, Ajayi stated that “On July 7, 2020, at the sitting of the Ondo State House of Assembly, the alleged contemners issued an impeachment notice against me, despite the pendency of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 and have vowed to continue with the illegality.
“Copies of newspaper reportage of the illegality of issuance of the notice are hereto attached and marked as Exhibit DG4.
“I verily believe that the action/conduct of the alleged contemners is to foist a fait accompli on the court, to render the outcome of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 nugatory and bring the court to disrepute.
He, therefore, asked the court to sentence the lawmakers to prison for a term of 1 (one) year.
The affidavit stated, “An order of this honourable court committing the 1st to 26th alleged contemners (the 26 lawmakers) to prison for a term of 1 (one) year or as the court may otherwise determine for the reason of the criminal contempt committed by the alleged contemner by deliberately plotting and executing plans to impeach the applicant despite the pendency of suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/684/2020 and despite having notice of the said suit.”
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