Court dismisses Oyo deputy governor’s suit seeking to stop his impeachment

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The Oyo State High Court in Ibadan has dismissed a suit filed by Rauf Olaniyan, the Oyo State Deputy Governor seeking to challenge the moves initiated by the state House of Assembly to impeach him.

Recall on June 29, Justice Ladiran Akintola ordered the state House of Assembly to suspend the impeachment move against Mr Olaniyan.

Delivering judgement on the matter today, Justice Akintola held that the 1999 constitution stipulates the process of removing one from office, adding that the originating summons filed by the claimant were purely legislative and not judicial.

Back story

  • Following the deputy Governor’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the state house of assembly initiated moves to impeach him.
  • The lawmakers subsequently brought allegations of financial recklessness, gross misconduct and insubordination against him.
  • Mr Olaniyan consequently sued the state House of Assembly; the Speaker, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, and the Clerk over the impeachment process initiated against him by the lawmakers.
  • Olaniyan filed an application for an interlocutory injunction through his lawyer, Afolabi Fashanu (SAN).
  • He sought an order of the court to restrain the House from taking steps towards his impeachment.
  • His lawyer argued that the allegation of misconduct against his client was vague and without particulars, according to Section 188 of the 1999 Constitution.
  • He further contended that impeachment was a process and all the items listed in the Constitution should be strictly followed.

How the court ruled

The presiding judge noted that the role of the speaker was administrative in the Constitution, while the allegations levelled against the claimant were clear enough for him to understand.

The judge said that he validated the process initiated by the House of Assembly, having carefully considered the originating summons, counter affidavits by the defendants, and the written addresses filed by counsel to the parties.

There is nowhere that the speaker is involved as an initiative, but an administrative one; the issue raised by the claimant against the defendants are resolved against the claimant.

“No proceedings of the House can be entertained in any court, therefore the claimant’s case is, accordingly, dismissed,” the judge ruled.

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