By CHIDINMA EWUNONU-ALUKO
IBADAN- The Oyo State High Court in Ibadan on Thursday dismissed the suit filed by the Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, to challenge the moves initiated to impeach him by the state House of Assembly.
In his judgment, Justice Ladiran Akintola held the 1999 constitution stipulates the process of removing one from office, adding that the originating summons, as filed by the claimant, were purely legislative and not judicial.
Akintola said the role of the speaker was administrative in the Constitution, while the allegations levelled against the claimant were clear enough for him to understand.
The judge said that he validated the process initiated by the House of Assembly, having carefully considered the originating summons, counter affidavits by the defendants, and the written addresses filed by counsel to the parties.
“There is no where that the speaker is involved as an initiative, but an administrative; the issue raised by the claimant against the defendants are resolved against the claimant.
“No proceedings of the House can be entertained in any court, therefore the claimant’s case is, accordingly, dismissed,” he said.
Olaniyan had through his counsel, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN), jointly sued the state House of Assembly; the Speaker, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, and the Clerk over the impeachment process initiated against him by the lawmakers.
Fashanu had filed an application for the court to restrain the House from taking steps toward the deputy governor’s impeachment.
He prayed the court to grant the originating summons, saying that the allegation of misconduct against Olaniyan was vague and without particulars, according to Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.
The counsel to the deputy governor argued that an impeachment was a process and all the items listed in the Constitution should be strictly followed.
However, reacting to the judgment on Thursday, Fashanu said he was dissatisfied with it and had, therefore, filed an appeal.
“We appealed for an order of injunction restraining the respondents from enforcing or implementing the judgment today.
“This is pending the determination of the appeal lodged against the said judgment.
“It’s expedient that an order of injunction be granted so that the outcome of the appeal will not be rendered nugatory,” he said.
The respondents’ counsel, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), said the impeachment process required eight steps and the house had just taken the first step out of the eight processes involved in the removal process.
He said the defendants would, however, not be asking for damages, while status quo still remained, as Olaniyan remains the deputy governor.
NAN recalls that the lawmakers had initiated an impeachment move against the deputy governor, accusing him of financial recklessness, gross misconduct and insubordination, abandonment of office, among other allegations.
This followed Olaniyan’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC). (NAN)