Ondo State Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa has countered the latest offensive against him by the State House of Assembly by asking the Chief Judge of the state, Olusola 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 was contained in a seven-page letter written by the leading counsel for the Deputy Governor, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, submitted to the Chief Judge in Akure on Tuesday and made a copy available to journalists.
Recall that the Assembly on Monday wrote a letter to the Chief Judge, asking him to constitute a seven-man panel to probe the Deputy Governor, claiming that the orders of injunction granted by the Federal High Court, Abuja, had expired.
In the letter delivered in the office of the Chief Judge on October 24, 2023, Aiyedatiwa through his lawyer punctured the position of the Assembly, which he said was based on conjectures, misconceptions, inconsistencies, undue desperation and misconstruction of the law.
He argued that the Orders granted by the Federal High Court, Abuja on September 26, 2023, were still in force and remained valid and subsisting, contrary to the conclusion of the Assembly that the said Orders had expired by operation of law.
Dwelling on Order 26 Rule 10 (2) and (3) of the Federal High Court Rules 2019, the Deputy Governor argued that the Court in Abuja has been given wide discretion to determine the nature, status and duration of any order granted and “in this case, the Court directed that the Orders granted on September 26, 2023 should last till the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for interlocutory injunction, which is still pending before the Court”.
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The Deputy Governor stated in his letter that based on the two proceedings of the Federal High Court, Abuja of October 9 and 16, 2023, the Court has not set aside the pending orders and the order cannot be extinguished by the application to set it aside since it was combined with the hearing of the substantive suit.
Aiyedatiwa drew the attention of the Chief Judge to the inconsistent action of the Assembly which on one hand is claiming that the Orders have expired whilst, on the other hand, it is pursuing an appeal against the said Orders.
The Deputy Governor referred the Chief Judge to the Motion on Notice filed by the Assembly at the Court of Appeal, Abuja on October 20, 2023 where it stated that the Orders granted by the Federal High Court were still valid and subsisting because they were tied to the hearing and determination of the Deputy Governor’s motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
He then queried whether the Assembly can approbate and reprobate at the same time by stating under oath in Court that the Orders are still valid and pending while at the same time writing a letter to the Chief Judge claiming that the Orders have expired.
The Deputy Governor quoted extensively from the motion filed by the Assembly at the Court of Appeal, Abuja to show the malicious intent of the Assembly.
He argued, “Contrary to this misconception of law and the facts, the same House of Assembly filed a Motion on Notice dated 20th October 2023, before the Court of Appeal, Abuja in respect of the same orders of the Federal High Court, praying for abridgement of time to hear its appeal against the said orders.
“If it is true that the orders expired by operation of law on 18th October 2023 as being falsely canvassed, why would the same House of Assembly file a fresh application two days later, in pursuit of its desire to set aside the said orders that it claimed have expired? While the Assembly is pursuing its appeal to set aside the orders in Court, it is deviously asking My Lord to set aside the same orders in Chambers, purportedly by operation of law.
“In Ground 4 of the said Motion on Notice dated 20th October 2023 filed the House of Assembly and pending before the Court of Appeal in Abuja and paragraph 9 of the affidavit of Elizabeth Omiwole in support thereof, it is stated on oath as follows:
“Ground 4: The lower Court has not heard the Originating Summons till date and has in fact adjourned the case till 30th October 2023 whilst the interim injunctios are tied to the hearing and determination of the first respondent’s interlocutory application which has also not been taken or argued till date.
In Paragraph 9, he said, “I know as a fact that the lower Court has not heard the 1st Respondent’s Originating Summons till date. In fact, the Court has again adjourned the case till 30th October 2023 whilst the interim injunctios are tied to the hearing and determination of the interlocutory application which has also not been argued or heard till date.
The Deputy Governor reminded the Chief Judge of his principled position as stated in his letter to the Assembly on October 3, 2023 that all parties should await the hearing of the cases in court, stating that nothing has changed to warrant a departure from the stand of the Chief Judge.
He then referred to other cases pending before the Akure High Court on the same subject matter of impeachment, urging the Chief Judge as the head of the judiciary not to allow the Assembly to ridicule the Courts and their authority.
He also quoted from the Supreme Court decision in the case of the Deputy Governor of Taraba State (Danladi v. Dangari) where in a similar fashion, lawmakers rushed to impeach him whilst his case was pending in Court, whereupon the Supreme Court quashed the impeachment and ordered his reinstatement.