The move to impeach Ondo State’s embattled Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, over alleged gross misconduct has stirred controversy, with conflicting views from legal experts and former lawmakers.
Femi Emodamori, the counsel to the House of Assembly, criticized Aiyedatiwa for attempting to halt his impeachment through an interim court order. Emodamori argued that Aiyedatiwa should not have approached the court before the impeachment process had been completed. He contended that if the lawmakers strictly followed Section 188 of the Constitution, no court could intervene until the process was concluded.
Emodamori explained, “It is only when there are clear breaches of the law that the court may intervene. The deputy governor hasn’t even been served; the notice was initiated by eleven members of the House, which is more than the one-third required, and he didn’t wait to be served.”
Jiti Ogunye, another lawyer, also criticized Aiyedatiwa for seeking a court order to halt the impeachment process. Ogunye emphasized the importance of adhering to the constitutional process outlined in Section 188. He argued that if the proper procedures were followed, Aiyedatiwa could seek recourse at the end of the process if necessary.
Furthermore, Ogunye raised concerns about the federalist principle, as Aiyedatiwa, a state deputy governor, had filed a lawsuit against state entities in a federal court, which he believed went against federalism principles.
Former lawmakers from Ondo State, represented by Abiodun Jerome, cautioned the Assembly members against creating political turmoil by proceeding with the impeachment. They urged the Assembly to prioritize the state’s pressing issues and avoid becoming puppets of desperate politicians.
Jerome emphasized that the Assembly, which is less than four months old, should exercise caution and not provoke public outrage by pushing forward with the impeachment. He called on the Assembly to resist setting a bad precedent and urged them to reconsider their actions.