Court stops pending impeachment of Ondo deputy governor

Justice Nwite held that after listening to Adewusi, he was of the view that the interest of justice would be met by granting the application.

Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Deputy Governor of Ondo State

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, restrained the Ondo State House of Assembly from impeaching the Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling shortly after Aiyedatiwa’s counsel, Kayode Adewusi, moved the ex-parte motion to the effect.
The judge also restrained Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy governor and forward same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
Justice Nwite held that after listening to Adewusi, he was of the view that the interest of justice would be met by granting the application.
“Therefore, the application of the applicant succeeds,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the embattled deputy governor had, in a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023, sued the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police and the the Department of State Services (DSS).
Others are Gov. Akeredoku, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Chief Judge of Ondo State and the House of Assembly as 1st to 6th respondents respectively.
In the application dated and filed by Mr Adelanke Akinrata on Sept. 21, Aiyedatiwa sought for four reliefs.
The judge further made an order of interim injunction restraining Akeredolu, his servants or privies from harassing, intimidating, embarrassing and preventing Aiyedatiwa in carrying out the functions of his office as deputy governor of Ondo State.
Justice Nwite, who granted all the reliefs  adjourned the matter until Oct. 9 for hearing.
NAN reports that Aiyedatiwa had, also in another suit marked: AK/348/2023 prayed the High Court in Akure to stop the state’s house of assembly from proceeding with the impeachment proceedings against him pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed in the court on Monday.
With the court order, it is unclear what the state Assembly will do next on the issue of the impeachment process.

It will be recalled that shortly after his return from his media vacation in Germany, Akeredolu sacked the media aides of the deputy governor.

The sacked aides, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, were Press Secretary to the Governor, Kenneth Odusola; Special Assistant to Governor (New Media) Okunniga Oladipupo; and Special Assistant to the Governor (Photography), Abayomi Adefolalu.

The affected aides were also alleged to have been involved in some acts suspected to be disloyal to the governor during the overseas vacation of Akeredolu.

“The Ministry of Information and Orientation is directed to provide adequate coverage for the activities of the deputy’s governor office henceforth,” the statement had read.