Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Fourteen members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, loyal to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, have intensified efforts to impeach the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.
The latest efforts by the lawmakers, Daily Sun learnt, will be implemented at the plenary this week.
It was learnt that the lawmakers had agreed, during a meeting, at the weekend in a hotel in Akure, the state capital, to ensure Ajayi is impeached this week.
Part of the strategies include suspension of some lawmakers loyal to the deputy governor.
Already, three of the nine lawmakers, loyal to the deputy governor, had been suspended by the House for allegedly violating the rules of the House during a rowdy plenary where the House agreed to serve the deputy governor an impeachment notice.
Speaker Bamidele Oleyelogun had also written to the Chief Judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, requesting her to set up a seven-man panel to investigate the allegation of gross misconduct levelled against the deputy governor.
But the chief judge, in her response, said the House was yet to fulfil constitutional procedures that could make her set up the seven-man panel to probe the deputy governor.
However, the speaker and other pro-Akeredolu lawmakers, it was learnt, are planning to send another letter to the chief judge notifying her of some other steps taking in the attempts to impeach the deputy governor.
The speaker, sources said, had informed pro-Akeredolu lawmakers to attend plenary today while the message was not sent to those loyal to Ajayi.
The plot to impeach the deputy governor has already polarised the Assembly and it was gathered the lawmakers, loyal to the deputy, governor were also determined to frustrate efforts to impeach Ajayi.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor has called for the removal of the speaker.
Ajayi, in a statement by his media aide, said: “We demand the immediate resignation or removal of the inept and mediocre speaker, Oloyelogun, whose incompetence has brought the exalted parliament into disrepute.
“This will go a long way to preserve our democratic gains, restore the dignity of the legislature and the principle of separation of power.”
He said the decision of the chief judge in respect of the illegal and fraudulent move by a section of the Assembly to impeach him has rekindled the confidence and hope of the people in the judiciary as a bulwark against tyranny, and totalitarianism.
“His lordship leaves no one in doubt about the need to adhere strictly to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and due process in modern democracy. The decision is a triumph for the rule of law against brigandage and anarchy.
“With the decision, the judiciary of Ondo State has demonstrated its independence and thus made a clear statement about its commitment to secure and sustain the principles and lofty ideals of our constitutional democracy,” he said.