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The Ondo State House of Assembly is considering a crucial meeting on Wednesday to finalize its next move on the impeachment of the deputy governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

This is even as an Akure High Court on Tuesday struck out a suit instituted by Mr Aiyedatiwa challenging his planned impeachment by the state House of Assembly.

House Spokesman, Olatunji Oshati said the house will be relying on the wisdom of it’s lawyers to chart a course to accomplish the task of impeaching the deputy governor.

“We will be guided by our lawyers in taking any further decisions and we hope to meet on Wednesday in a parliamentary session,” he said.

In its ruling delivered by Justice O. Akintan-Osadebay, the court declined jurisdiction to avoid conflicting verdict between Ondo High Court and Abuja Federal High Court.

The judge ruled that it was a gross abuse of court process to engage in “forum shopping,” by instituting same case in Akure and Abuja High courts.

Mr Aiyedatiwa had approached the court in a suit number AK/348/2023 filed on September 25, 2023, to stop the House of Assembly from impeaching him.

He had also secured an injunction from a Federal High Court in Abuja on September 26, restraining the assembly from going ahead with the impeachment process.

He is being accused of gross misconduct, an allegation enflamed by his fallout with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Counsel to the assembly, Femi Emodamori, believes that the assembly can now proceed with the impeachment proceedings given that the interim injection had expired, having exceeded 14 days.

He said since the federal high court at the hearing on Monday did not renew the injunction, the injunction no longer subsist.

Mr Emodamori said that the Interim Injunction had expired on the 10th of October.

He noted that the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Olusegun Odusola can now go ahead and set up the panel as directed by the House of Assembly.

However, the Deputy Governor has filed an appeal against the ruling of the Akure High Court in respect of the case that he filed to challenge his impeachment proceedings by the Ondo State House of Assembly.

In a Notice of Appeal filed on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, the Deputy Governor raised five grounds of appeal against the decision of the judge.

Amongst the grounds of appeal is a complaint that the judge erred in law in combining the hearing of his application for an amendment together with the application of the House of Assembly challenging the jurisdiction of the court, which amounts to a denial of his right to fair hearing.

Also, part of the grounds of appeal complained that the judge was wrong in holding that the case constitutes an abuse of the process of the court as the parties and the subject matter of the case in Akure are different from those of the case in Abuja.

The appellant therefore requested the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the judge.

Counsel to the deputy governor, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said that the orders of the Federal High Court, Abuja made on 26th September 2023 remain in force, valid and subsisting.

“The various orders of injunction were made pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The motion on notice is still pending,” he said.

“It is not correct that an order of the federal high court automatically expires after fourteen days. This may be the case if the judge that granted the order did not direct otherwise. In this case, the judge directed otherwise by stating that the orders will be in force until the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

“Furthermore, there are two applications filed by the defendants in the suit against the orders of the court, one by the Governor of Ondo State to set aside the orders and the other by the Ondo House of Assembly to stay execution of the orders.

“In law, an ex-parte order made pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice remains in force, valid, binding and subsisting until the said motion on notice is heard and determined.

“In any event, the pendency of the suits against the impeachment proceedings effectively tie the hands of the defendants from proceeding with or taking any step that may jeopardize the hearing of the cases on the merits. We must learn to respect the rule of law, the authority of the court and due process.”

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