As plans thicken to impeach Ondo State deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, Speaker of the state's House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, has written to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, to set up a seven-man panel to investigate the notice of gross misconduct levelled against Ajayi.
Recall that the state's House of Assembly members had on Tuesday served an impeachment notice on Ajayi with allegations including gross misconduct and abuse of office.
SaharaReporters had reported how a total of 14 out of 26 lawmakers signed the impeachment notice against the deputy governor.
But on Thursday, Oleyelogun said the Assembly decided to write the CJ to set up the investigative panel to probe the allegations against Ajayi.
Oleyelogun said the setting up of the panel was in line with section 188 (5) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
A letter written to the CJ dated July 7, 2020 and signed by the Speaker reads, "By the resolution of the House today pursuant to Section 188 (3) and (4) of the 1999 constitution as amended, it was resolved that the allegations be investigated forthwith.
"It is in line with the above that request that you set up the seven-man panel to conduct the investigation as resolved by the House and panel, shall soon as possible, report back to the House."
Meanwhile, the nine members of the state's House of Assembly loyal to the deputy governor have also written to the Chief Judge to distance themselves from the planned impeachment of Ajayi.
Three of the nine members had on Wednesday been suspended by the leadership of the Assembly over allegations of violating the rules of the House during a rowdy plenary.
In their letter dated July 9, 2020, the lawmakers said they had duly disassociated themselves from the ongoing impeachment process of the deputy governor in a letter sent to the Clerk and Speaker of the House of Assembly.
The letter reads, "Kindly be informed that nine underlisted elected members of Ondo State House of Assembly have duly disassociated ourselves from the ongoing impeachment process of the deputy governor, Agboola Alfred Ajayi, in a letter dated 7th July 2020, to the Clerk and Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly.
"We want to state and confirm to your good office that we maintain our stand by dissociating ourselves from the impeachment process. We are not in support of the impeachment based on our individual personal conviction.
"We are rest assured that your lordship will uphold section 188 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) particularly section 188 (3)(4)(5)-(11).
"It is equally worthy of note that the total membership of Ondo State House of Assembly is 26 in which the 2/3 is 18.
"We are writing to call your attention to the fact that all or some of us who are signatories to this letter may be suspended in order to circumvent the provision of the constitution of Nigeria, which we all swore to uphold and protect, including your Lordship, as this will be contrary to the laws of the land."