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General News of Friday, 13 January 2023


Ondo Assembly appeals judgement reinstating deputy speaker

Ondo State House of Assembly Ondo State House of Assembly

The Ondo State of Assembly has filed an appeal against a judgment of the state high court, ordering it to reinstate Iroju Ogundeji as its deputy speaker.

The court in Akure had on Wednesday nullified the 2020 impeachment of Mr. Ogundeji by members of the Assembly.

The judgment, delivered by Justice Akintan Osadebey, also ordered the House to pay the withheld salaries and allowances of Mr Ogundeji.

But the assembly, through the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, rejected the judgment and filed an appeal at the Appeal Court.

The assembly also filed an application at the high court for an order of stay of execution of the judgement pending the determination of the appeal.

The Bamidele Oleyelogun-led house had impeached Mr Ogundeji in the wake of the crisis that attended the 2020 governorship election, accusing him of “gross misconduct,”

Mr Ogundeji and some of his colleagues had refused to sign an impeachment notice against the then deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, who then was running against Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Mr Ogundeji, who represents Odigbo Constituency 2, was immediately replaced by Samuel Aderoboye.

A statement from the office of the Attorney General, on Thursday, said the assembly had appealed the judgement.

“The appeal which was filed on behalf of the House of Assembly by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ondo State, Sir Charles Titiloye ksm FCArb, is seeking to set aside the Judgment of the High Court dated 11th of January 2023 removing the Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Samuel Aderoboye from office and reinstating the Impeached Deputy Speaker, Hon. Deji Iroju,” read the statement signed by Kola Adeniyi, the Special Assistant to the Attorney General.

“The Attorney General in the notice of Appeal dated 11th of January, 2023 faulted the Judgment of the trial Court which was based on the allegation that Hon. Deji Iroju was not accorded fair hearing before his impeachment when actually the lawmaker failed to avail himself of the various opportunities to be heard and defend himself before he was removed from office on the ground of gross misconduct.

“The Learned Attorney General urged the Court of Appeal to set aside the Judgment of the High Court which heavily relied on the evidence of the claimants marred with inconsistencies and contradictory evidence.

“The House of Assembly in another application before the trial Court urged the Court to stay the execution of its Judgment pending the determination of the appeal before the Court of Appeal.

“The application further sought for an injunction restraining the Claimants/Respondents from giving effect to the said judgment by resuming in office as the Deputy Speaker of Ondo State pending the determination of the appeal before the Court of Appeal.”

Mr Ogundeji had, on several occasions after his impeachment, sued the assembly for refusing to pay his salaries and denying him other benefits due to him as a lawmaker.

Other lawmakers who were suspended as a result of the crisis, had also gone to court to seek redress.