I have not been served impeachment notice ― Ondo deputy governor

Ondo State deputy governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, reacting to the news of his impeachment has stated that he has not been served with the notice of impeachment.

He, however, declined comments on the process saying, “I cannot speak or comment on a case before a law court.”

Ajayi’s impeachment followed a notice signed by 14 of the 26 members of the Assembly, alleging the deputy governor of gross misconduct, abuse of office, with action likely to bring down the Ondo State government, financial recklessness, abandonment of office, official duties and other assignments among others.

The lawmakers loyal to the embattled deputy governor engaged the opponent of Ajayi in a shouting order, describing the process as efforts in futility, saying the House cannot secure the Two-third majority to impeach the deputy governor.

The lawmakers, however, served the deputy governor the impeachment after the Clerk of the Assembly, Bode Adeyelu read the motion on the floor of the House.

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The Speaker of the House Assembly, Hon. Bamidele Oleyelogun, who disclosed that the petition against the deputy governor was forwarded to him but declined to mention the source of the allegation.

Oleyelogun said the constitution empowers the lawmakers to investigate allegations and might proceed on impeachment process only if the necessary constitutional requirements were met.

The Speaker, however, ordered the Clerk of the House to serve the embattled deputy governor notice of impeachment which was signed by14 members of the Assembly.

However, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, and some other lawmakers who kicked against the development, were not allowed to contribute to the motion while it was put into a vote.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Jamiu Maito then moved the motion for adjournment till Wednesday, July 8 and was seconded by Oluyede Fayide, representing Ose Constituency.

Briefing journalists after the plenary, one of the aggrieved lawmakers, Hon. Festus Akingbaso,  representing Idanre Constituency, said that the impeachment notice was unconstitutional, saying it would not stand because it did not meet two-third of the house members as required by law.

Similarly, Hon. Samuel Edamisan representing Irele Constituency stated that the move by the assembly was unconstitutional, adding that it would not work.

However,  the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Hon. Olugbenga Omole explained that “the House received a petition against the deputy governor of Ondo State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi and we are working on it.

“The first process here was that 14 members signed a notice of impeachment which is the first step. Those people ranting don’t know the procedure. It’s a process and the process is on and it shall be concluded.

“Two-third of 26 is 18 and Impeachment is a process. In fact, it is only nine that we needed for what we did today, that is one-third and 14 signed and there were all at the plenary today. As I said, it is a process”.

In the letter signed by Clerk of the House,  Adeyelu,  and directed to the deputy governor to intimate him on the impeachment which read.

“Consequent upon listed below, we, the undelisted duly elected honourable members of the 9th Assembly moved the impeachment of the deputy governor of Ondo State,  Agboola Ajayi with immediate effect based on the following allegations.

“Gross misconduct, abuse of office with action likely to bring down Ondo State government, financial recklessness and abandonment of office,  official duties and other assignments

Other allegations include “action on Sunday 21st 2020, likely to cause a breach of peace in reference to 1983 political crisis with the intent to incite the citizens against the government of Ondo state in a video clip at government House ground before the Commissioner of Police Ondo state

“Publications dated Tuesday 23rd June 2020 on the new media and prints media by his sacked aides Babatope Okeowo credited to his person and office by Sahara reporters and others, maligning the credibility of the legislative arm of the government of cash inducement

“Petition from the APC,  Ondo chapter on his alleged movement to the Peoples Democratic Party,  having sworn in as the deputy governor on the party’s ticket with Mr Governor for a four-year term.

Similarly, the nine members who kicked against the impeachment in a letter addressed to the leadership of the House and personally signed by them distancing themselves from the impeachment move.

The lawmakers in the letter said “We the underlisted elected honourable members of the 9th session of the Ondo State House of Assembly hereby append our signatures to clarify that we have resolved not to partake in the impeachment process of the Ondo State deputy governor,  Agboola Ajayi.

“In view of the above, we hereby bring to the notice of Mr Clerk, Mr Adeyelu Micheal Bode, the entire Honorable members of the Ondo State House of Assembly and the General public that we do not support the impeachment process and would not want to be associated with it based on personal convictions.

The letter was signed by Iroju Ogundeji, Jamiu Suleiman Maito Rasheed Elegbeleye, Tomide Akinrinbodo, Samuel Ademola Favour Semilore Tomomewo Festus Akingbaso, Adewale Adekunle and Torhukerhijo Success.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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