The Ondo State House of Assembly has asked the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, to convene a seven-member inquiry panel to look into charges of gross misconduct leveled against Embattled Deputy Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Remember that the CJ declined to form an investigating panel to look into the matter after the Assembly requested it on October 11.

On October 3, 2023, the State Assembly requested that the panel be formed in accordance with Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

But the CJ in a letter to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Oladiji Olamide Aderanmi, with ref no. CROD/1123/V.3/ dated October 6, 2023, cited Section 287 (3) of the Constitution as the reason why he could not act on the letter from the House as a Federal High Court had barred him from performing that function.

The House in a fresh letter dated October 23, 2023, addressed to the Chief Judge of the state, requested him to constitute a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor, following the expiration of the interim injunction of the Federal High Court in suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023 by operation of the law.

In the letter signed by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Oladiji Olamide Adesanmi, the Assembly reminded the Chief Judge of the earlier letter and his reply of October 6, 2023.

He stated, “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, the Speaker stated that 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:

“(2) 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.

“(3) 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.”

Taking the Chief Justice through a series of court events, the Speaker said, “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.

“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 calls on your lordship to kindly constitute the Panel without any further delay,” the letter added.




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