By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Ondo State House of Assembly said the request given to the state Chief Judge, Justice Olusola Odusola to set up panel on the allegations against the State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa was a reminder of his constitutional role.
Majority leader of the House, Oluwole Ogunmolasuyi said the new request has nothing to do with the reconciliation effort of the National Leader of APC in as much as there are other parties in the Assembly.
He said part of the resolution at the meeting with the National leadership of APC is for the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to withdraw all suits which up till now he has not taken any move towards political solution.
The House of Assembly on Monday wrote a letter to the state Chief Judge, asking for the constitution of the probe panel on the allegations against the deputy governor.
According to a letter signed by the Speaker, Olamide Oladiji, the new request is as a result of the expiration of the interim order, necessitating further actions on the subject matter.
“The Ondo State House of Assembly had on October 3, 2023 requested your lordship to constitute a seven-man Panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct leveled against the Deputy-Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, in line with Section 188 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“In a reply letter dated October 6, 2023, your lordship acknowledged and quoted Section 188 (10) of the Constitution which states that “No proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly or the Panel or any matter relating so such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.” Your lordship however opined that until the ex parte Order made on September 26, 2023 by the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court restraining you from setting up the Panel was either vacated or set aside, your hands would continue to be tied.
“However, from the facts and legal advice at the disposal of the House, the said Order has now elapsed and/or become extinguished by the operation of the law, in view of the clear provisions of Order 26 Rule 10 (2) & (3) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019, which states as follows:
“An application to vary or discharge an order ex parte may be made by the party or any person affected within 14 days after service and shall not last more than fourteen days after the application has been argued unless the Court otherwise directs.
“Where a motion to vary or discharge an ex parte order is not taken within 14 days of its being filed, the ex parte order shall lapse unless the court otherwise directs in the interest of justice.
“Your lordship would recall that the ex parte order was made on September 26, 2023 (a copy of which is attached hereto as Annexure ODHA1), after which the case was adjourned to October 9, 2023. The 3rd Defendant in the case filed a motion on October 4, 2023 to discharge the Order and/or strike out the case for want of jurisdiction. A copy of the motion is attached hereto as Annexure ODSH 2.
Fourteen days from October 4, 2023 when the motion was filed, terminated on or about October 18, 2023.
The Court has not taken the application or renewed the Order, as evident in the Certified True Copy of the Court’s record of proceedings for October 9, 2023 and October 16, 2023, copies of which are attached hereto as Annexures ODHA 3 and ODHA 3A respectively. In fact, in Exhibit ODHA3, it was recorded that the motion was served on the Plaintiff in Court on October 9, 2023, after which the matter was adjourned to October 16, 2023.
“In view of the above facts, your lordship would agree that the said Order has elapsed by the operation of the law, and no longer constitutes an encumbrance for your lordship to discharge the sacred constitutional obligation placed on your office by virtue of Section 188 (5) of the Constitution to set up the Seven-man Panel.
“Consequently, the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly hereby call on your lordship to kindly constitute the Panel without any further delay,” the letter stated.
Meanwhile, The Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has countered the Assembly by asking the Chief Judge, Odusola to ignore the request of the Assembly to constitute a seven-man panel of investigators to probe allegations of gross misconduct against him.
This is contained in a seven-page letter written by the leading counsel to the Deputy Governor, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, and submitted to the Chief Judge in Akure on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.