Impeachment: Court fixes date for judgment in Oyo deputy governor’s suit

The Oyo State High Court in Ibadan on Wednesday fixed July 26 for judgment in a suit filed by Rauf Olaniyan, the state Deputy Governor, challenging the impeachment process served on him by the state House of Assembly.

Justice Ladiran Akintola adjourned the case for judgment after the submission of written addresses and responses to the originating summons and counter-affidavits by the parties.

Mr Olaniyan had jointly filed a suit against the state House of Assembly; the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, and the House Clerk over the impeachment process against him by the lawmakers.

On Tuesday, the judge adjourned the hearing of the matter until Wednesday to enable the claimant’s counsel, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), to respond to the respondent’s interlocutory injunction and originating summons.

Mr Fashanu had filed an application for the court to restrain the House from taking steps toward the deputy governor’s impeachment.

He prayed that the court should grant the originating summons, saying that the misconduct allegation against Mr Olaniyan was vague and without particulars, according to Section 188 of the 1999 constitution.

Mr Fashanu said, “An impeachment is a process and all the items listed in the Constitution should be strictly followed.”

Also, counsel to the respondents, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), said the removal of the deputy governor under the 1999 Constitution was a legislative constitutional affair outside the jurisdiction of the court.

Mr Kalejaiye argued that the notice served by the claimant did not have particulars and that the submission was unsustainable, implying that the claimant did not understand the allegations against him.

“The removal of Olaniyan is not a criminal trial, the claimant jumped the gun, crying foul when no foul has been committed.

“The court should therefore dismiss the originating summons by the claimant,” he submitted.

NAN reports that earlier, a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Lateef Adebunmi, from Oorelope State Constituency had through his lawyer, Sunday Aborisade, sought the leave of the court through an application, to be joined as a party in the case.

Mr Fashanu moved against the application on the point that he is a member of the House, who had already been joined in the suit.

Mr Kalejaiye prayed the court to grant the application.

Ruling on the application, Mr Akintola, said the interest of the lawmaker, who filed the application, had already been taken care of in the suit.

He said that granting the application would draw back the proceeding.

Mr Akintola, therefore, set aside the application for joinder in the suit.

While the court was still sitting, Mr Fashanu told the judge that the House of Assembly had directed the Chief Judge, Munta Abimbola, to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations against Mr Olaniyan.

Responding, Mr Akintola replied that it was outside the case brought before him.

The lawmakers had initiated an impeachment move against the deputy governor, accusing him of financial recklessness, gross misconduct, and insubordination, among other allegations following Mr Olaniyan’s defection from the PDP to APC. (NAN)

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