The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has been faulted for approaching court at the wrong time and attempting to stop his impeachment process through an interim order.
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Tuesday issued an injunction preventing the Ondo State House of Assembly from impeaching the Deputy Governor on the grounds of alleged gross misconduct.
Justice Emeka Nwite made the decision following the presentation of an ex-parte motion by Mr Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, Kayode Adewusi.
Speaking on a popular program on Television Continental (TVC) on wednesday, a Constitutional Lawyer and Global Affairs Analyst, Jiti Ogunye said Aiyedatiwa was wrong to have approached the court when the process hasn’t been completed.
Ogunye described Aiyedatiwa’s action as a clear violation of the constitution, noting that approaching the federal High Court instead of the state, and suing the state governor, state house of assembly and the Chief Judge, was wrong.
He said the deputy governor should submit himself and answer the allegations leveled against him.
“The issue of principle here is that there is a route under section 188 of the constitution, that route says that seven days you should receive a notice served by the Speaker on the holder of the office be it governor or deputy governor. Within 14 days, a vote is taken, if two-third passes the matter, it goes to the Chief Judge of the state within seven days and then a panel is set up within three months and the report comes in.
“After the report comes in, If the report says no misconduct has been committed, the matter ends there. If it says misconduct is proven then the person is impeached. That’s the process. And so, if at the tail-end the process is not followed, the holder of the office has a recourse to have him restore to power.
“The second one is the federalist principle which is very dear to me. You are a deputy governor of a state, you have a state high court, you are suing everybody in that state including the Chief Judge of that state, and you are taking them to a federal government court. That offends my federalist principle,” he submitted.
Also, one of the Counsels to the Ondo State House of Assembly, Femi Emodamori argued that if the state assembly clearly and meticulously follows section 188, sub-section 1-9, no court as stipulated in section 10, has the power to intervene.
Emodamori said, ”It is only when there are pure breaches of the law that the court may intervene. Now, His Excellency (Hon Aiyedatiwa) hasn’t even been served, the notice was initiated by eleven members of the House, more than one-third required, he didn’t wait to be served.
“The law said it should be served within seven days. He rushed to court the following day that he hasn’t not been served saying it’s violation of his right. Then I have just seen another suit filed by my respected colleague, Ebun-olú Adegboruwa, and I have read the processes.
“He’s alleging violation of his own right to fair hearing that he’s not been served. That it’s within social media even when section 188 says he should be served within seven days and it’s not yet seven days.
“Rushing to court even before the panel is constituted is an abuse of judicial process . he doesn’t have a fundamental human right to protect at that stage. The body to hear him is the panel to be constituted by the Chief Judge. Until the body begins work, how do you complain violation to fair hearing?” Emodamori said.