By Josephine Oguntoyinbo & Emmanuel Oluwadola
The Ondo State House of Assembly has directed the state Chief Judge to constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The move is sequel to the legislative step taken by the House to write the Deputy Governor over the allegation during plenary headed by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji.
While moving a motion for the constitution of the panel, the Majority Leader, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi noted that the move is in line with the 1999 Constitution as amended and the motion was seconded by the lawmaker representing Ifedore State Constituency, Tope Komolafe.
“In line with the Nigeria Constitution, Section 188 Sub Section 4-5, the Chief Judge of the State shall as request by the House of Assembly, appoints a panel of seven persons who are of unquestionable character, integrity to investigate the allegation as regarded by the section.”
The Speaker, Olamide Oladiji who said it is imperative to investigate any matter of allegation in line with the constitution maintained that the House will continue to follow due process in its operations.
Oladiji therefore directed the Chief Judge Justice Olusegun Odusola to set up a seven-man panel of inquiry to investigate the allegation against the Deputy Governor.
“The Chief Judge is hereby implored to appoint a panel of seven persons who are of unquestionable integrity to investigate the allegation against the Deputy Governor and report to the house.”
“The Deputy Governor is hereby given seven days to respond to the letter written to him by this honourable house”
Meanwhile, 15 former lawmakers in the state yesterday pleaded for mercy and forgiveness to the embattled Deputy Governor.
At a press conference in Akure, the former lawmakers under the platform of concerned former lawmakers want their colleagues to temper justice with mercy for Aiyedatiwa.
They opined that the impeachment will heat up the polity and fanned the embers of hatred and disunity, insisting that what the state urgently need is peace.
Also, indigenes of Ilaje Local Government area of the State yesterday staged a peaceful protest to condemn what they described as injustice bedeviling their area.
The sons and daughters of the area who carried placards with different inscriptions such as” Ilaje is a local government in Ondo state, Lucky is innocent, stop alleging him wrongly, Lucky Aiyedatiwa is our son, Justice for Ilaje, among others, chanted solidarity songs.
The protest which began in front of the House of Assembly gate had the protesters marched down to the state APC Secretariat to press home their demand while there were heavy security presence to ensure the protest was not hijacked.
Leader of the group and founder, Ilaje World Congress, Rev. Ola Judah said the people of Ilaje Local government are lovers of peace who do not want trouble as well as to see the peace of the State being threatened.
He explained that Ilaje which is one of the oil producing areas in the state lacks social amenities and has continued to suffer natural disasters, such as flooding.
While appealing to the house of assembly members to use their good offices to draw the attention of the state government in addressing the problems facing the area, he also urged the legislature to carry out its investigation levelled against the deputy Governor, with sincerity, stressing that Aiyedatiwa is their son and should be allowed to complete his term.
He later presented a letter containing their demand to the police.
Responding, the Area Commander, Nigeria Police, Akure Urban, Chidi Emeri appreciated the people for their maturity and promised to deliver the letter to the Assembly leadership.
He appealed to the protesters not to allow miscreants to hijack the process, warning that the force will not tolerate any form of violence.
The protesters later marched to the APC Secretariat to press home their demands and were escorted by security operatives