Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly put in an early morning shift on Monday to impeach the Deputy Governor of the state, Ali Olanusi, over allegations of gross misconduct.
The House then swiftly appointed the former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Lasisi Oluboyo, to succeed Olanusi, following his nomination by the embattled governor, Olusegun Mimiko.
The House began sitting exactly 8: 45 am, presided over by the Speaker, Jumoke Akindele.
There was tight security as officials of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the State Security Service (SSS) took position all over the premises of the Assembly.
Entry into the Assembly was heavily screened, and movement highly restricted.
It was observed that 22 out of the 25 lawmakers of the House gave their consent for the impeachment of Olanusi; that number was above the legally-required two thirds majority for impeachment.
SaharaReporters correspondent reported that at the sitting, the state factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), Clement Faboyede, and the Secretary to the State government (SSG) were visibly present and were also publicly recognized.
Earlier, the seven-member panel of investigation chaired by the Retired Chief Magistrate Olatunji Stanley Adeniyan submitted the outcome of its report, which found Olanusi culpable of seven allegations of gross misconduct.
The panel was set up by the state Chief Judge, Olaseinde Kumuyi, following a directive from the Assembly.
The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Ifedayo Akinsoyinu, moved the motion for impeachment; it was seconded by the Deputy Majority Leader, Oyebo Aladetan, after the panel submitted its report.
Akinsoyinu read the outcome of the panel’s report thus: "Having found that all the seven allegations established against Alhaji Ali Olanusi, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State and placing reliance on the meaning of gross misconduct as defined in Section 188 (11) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
“We hereby find that the allegation of gross misconduct has been proved against Alhaji Olanusi the holder of office of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Nigeria”, he read.
Immediately Olanusi was impeached by the Assembly, the Speaker directed that all government property in his possession be handed over to the Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s office.
Soon after, the lawmakers went on an hour’s break and reconvened at exactly 11: 15 am. and announced the nomination of the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Lasisi Oluboyo as the new Deputy Governor.
Oluboyo, an indegine of Ikare Akoko, was nominated by Governor Mimiko for ratification, after the House had received a letter for his screening.
The Assembly clerk, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, read the letter of the nomination to the House. Speaker Akindele immediately directed the Deputy Speaker, Dare Emiola, to supervise the House Committee for Oluboyo’s screening.
Five minutes later, the Deputy Speaker reappeared in the Chamber and presented the report of the Screening Committee, stating that Oluboyo had been found competent to be the new Deputy Governor of the state.
The legislators then formally appointed Oluboyo to his new post, and he was thus presented to the whole house.
In an address, Oluboyo pledged his loyalty to the government of the state.