The Ondo State House of Assembly has filed a complaint against Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, at the National Judicial Council (NJC) for stopping the impeachment of the state’s Deputy Governor, Luvky Aiyedetiwa.
The House had last month initiated impeachment proceedings against the deputy governor over alleged misconduct.
Aiyedatiwa later approached the court to stop the lawmakers from going ahead with the plot to remove him from office.
In a ruling delivered on September 26, Justice Nwite stopped the parliament from impeaching the deputy governor.
The judge, who gave the order while ruling on an exparte motion moved by Aiyedatiwa’s counsel, Kayode Adewusi, also restrained Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy governor and forwarding same to the lawmakers for approval pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
In the petition dated October 3, addressed to the NJC chairman and signed by the Speaker of the Assembly, Olamide Oladiji, the lawmakers said the judge erred in law by granting the deputy governor’s request.
They added that the order violated provisions of the 1999 Constitution among others.
They also alleged that Justice Nwite compromised his office to grant an “unconstitutional ex parte” in favour of the deputy governor.
The petition read: “As the Speaker of the 10th Ondo State House of Assembly, and on behalf of the entire members of the House of Assembly (hereinafter referred to as “ODHA”), I write your lordship to formally lodge a complaint against Hon.
“Justice Emeka Nwite of the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, for compromising his office and violating the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), ignoring judicial decisions of the appellate courts and extant Practice Directions and/or relevant Circulars of the Federal High Court, to grant an unconstitutional, clearly malevolent, and ostensibly procured ex parte order on 26th September 2023 in Suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023 restraining ODHA as an arm of government from exercising its constitutional powers.
“On September 2023, Eleven (11) members of the Ondo State Assembly presented a notice of allegation(s) of gross misconduct (impeachment notice) against the Deputy-Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa to me as the Speaker, in line with Section 188(2) (a) & (b) of the Constitution. I hereby attach a copy of the notice as Annexure ODHA.
“As your lordship would observe, annexure ODHA contains 14 allegations, many of which relate to alleged financial improprieties running into hundreds of millions of naira.”
“My Lord, as a ranking member of ODHA and based on the benefit of detailed legal advice which the House has sought on the subject matter, I know as a fact that impeachment is a purely legislative affair.
“Section 188 (10) of the Constitution clearly provides that: “No proceedings or determination of the House of Assembly or an Impeachment Panel or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court.”
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