From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Alli Olanusi has instituted a suit against the Governor Olusegun Mimiko and the state House of Assembly over his impeachment from office almost two years ago.
Olanusi who is uncomfortable with the way and manner he was shown the way out of office by the 26 member House of Assembly vowed to challenge his impeachment till he gets justice.
Determined to seek redress, Olanusi has approached the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure to challenge the judgment earlier delivered by the state High Court which legitimised his removal.
Olanusi was impeached following his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) while the Governor was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mimiko who contested the governorship election and won after litigations on the platform of the Labour Party (LP) later defected to the PDP alongside Olanusi and his other supporters.
But the relationship between Mimiko and Olanusi became sour when the later joined the APC in a dramatic circumstance.
The three-man appellate court presided over by Justice Mohammed Danjuma, at its last sitting reserved a date for judgment having listened to the counsel to the former deputy governor, Mr Richmond Natha-Alade and that of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Taiwo Olubodunrin.
Other defendants in the suit are Clerk of the State House of Assembly and the Chairman of the Panel that recommended the impeachment, Mr. Stanley Olaniyi.
An Akure High court presided over by Justice Williams Olamide had thrown out the suit on the ground that it was initiated through writ of summons instead of originating summons.
However, Olanusi challenged the verdict, asking the Appeal Court to upturn the decision of the State High Court.
In his ground of appeal, Olanusi formulated one ground of appeal which stated that the lower court erred in law in not holding that the Appellant’s suit ought not to have commenced by way of originating summons.
In the brief of argument, Olanusi said there were no facts in dispute that could warrant the suit to be inappropriate for originating summons.
“The trial court was in grave error to have in effect unilaterally converted the appellant’s originating summon filed before it into a writ of summons and in ordering parties to file pleadings when obviously there is no dispute as to envisaged by the provision of section 188 (2) (b) and 188 (3) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended which justified the ruling of the lower court.”
He stressed that there was no way the impeachment proceedings could have followed due process because all the processes for the impeachment were carried out in a day despite the fact that the allegations against him were criminal in nature.
But in his reply, counsel to the defendants said there was dispute to warrant the commencement of the suit through originating summons.
Olubodurin asked the appellate court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the decision of the lower court.