By: Oluwatosin Adesola
There was a legal fireworks today at the Ondo State High Court 4 presided over by Justice D.I. Kolawole over one of the numerous cases instituted to stop the State House of Assembly from going ahead with the impeachment process against the state Deputy Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
During the resumed session of the court sitting in Akure, Counsel to the Deputy Governor, Barr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, had brought an application under a Counter-Claim, praying the court to interprete section 188 of the 1999 constitution as amended, if the State Chief Judge has power to extend 7days granted by the law to set up an investigative panel to probe the Assembly’s allegations against the Deputy Governor.
The Counsel to the Deputy Governor had urged the Court to direct parties to maintain the status quo in order to preserve the subject matter of the suit pending before the court.
However, the application was opposed by the Counsel to the State House of Assembly, Barr. Femi Emodamori, argued that Since Aiyedatiwa had sued the State Chief Judge “for himself and all the Judges of Ondo State High Court” as the 5th Defendant in his Counterclaim, all the High Court Judges are parties to the Counter-Claim and none of them, including Justice D.I Kolawole, can adjudicate the case, because it is a cardinal rule of justice that no one can be a Judge in his own case.
Adegboruwa under the application insisted that the court should order the parties to maintain the status quo and interprete the section 188, but Emodamori maintained that the court can not make pronouncement on such issue since the judge’s jurisdiction is being questioned.
Ruling on the application, the court directed all the parties to continue to maintain the peace and thereafter adjourned the case till November 22, 2023 to enable parties filed relevant processes and documents.
Earlier, a suit seeking to restrain the Ondo State High Court registry and officials from transmit records of the court’s earlier ruling to the Court of Appeal was struck out by Justice Kolawole since events had already overtaken it.
The court struck out the suit filed by the Ondo State Government and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over compilation of record of appeal.
The claimants in the case had sued four registrars of the High Court, the Deputy Governor, the House of Assembly, the Speaker of the House and the Chief Judge of Ondo State, claiming that the procedure of settlement and compilation of record of appeal for the hearing of the appeal filed by the Deputy Governor would infringe their rights.
When the case was called up today before Hon Justice D.I. Kolawole, the claimants through their counsel applied to withdraw the suit, claiming that events have overtaken the suit.
Responding, counsel to the Deputy Governor opposed the oral application to withdraw the suit, contending that issues have been joined by filing a defence to the suit and also a counter-claim.
But in his ruling, the judge held that the rules of the Court permit the claimants to withdraw the suit and it was accordingly struck out.