Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan, has fixed July 26 to deliver judgment on the impeachment suit brought before it by Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan.

The court fixed the date after hearing counsels involved on the originating summons and interlocutory injunctions on the propriety of an impeachment proceedings embarked upon by the House of Assembly.

The court also rejected an application by the lawmaker representing Oorelope State Constituency, Lateef Adebunmi, who sought to be joined in the suit as the fourth co-defendant.

Adebunmi’s lawyer, Sunday Aborishade, told the court that not granting the application to be joined in the suit before hearing the substantive suit will amount to injustice and denial of fair hearing. He noted that the implications of the matter had been deposited before the court.

While Olaniyan’s lawyer, Chief Afolabi Fashanu asked for time to respond appropriately to the application, having been served in court on Wednesday morning, the defendants lawyer, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye, opposed the application on the grounds that it is not relevant to the matter.

According to Kalejaiye, the application is part of the ploy by the claimant to waste more time before the substantive suit is heard. He urged the court to begin with the scheduled business of the day which was the hearing of the originating summons and interlocutory injunctions, however adding that he was ready to oppose the application headlong even if the court chooses to grant it.

After much deliberation, Justice Akintola for a recess to enable him write his ruling.

Reconvening about 45 minutes later, Justice Akintola said the lawmaker’s application to be joined as fourth co-defendant will not be entertained because he is relevant to the matters before the court.

He also rejected the application for adjournment by Chief Fashanu, who told the court that the House of Assembly, in obvious disregard to subsisting status quo order, had directed the Chief Judge, Muntar Abimbola, to set up an investigative panel on Olaniyan.

Fashanu called the court’s attention to social media reports of the motion adopted during plenary at the House of Assembly, saying the lawmakers had shown disregard for the court. He therefore urged the court to adjourn the hearing as he planned joining other parties in the suit before the court would hear the matter.

But Kalejaiye opposed the request on the ground that no court will adjourn a matter for the litigant to join another party as the matter is fully constituted.

After consultation with the lawyers, the court adjourned till July 26 to give its judgment on the matter. It was however silent on the status quo order earlier issued on the impeachment proceedings.

The Oyo State House of Assembly has directed the Chief Judge to set up a seven-man panel to investigate Deputy Governor Rauf Olaniyan over allegations of gross misconduct brought against him.

This is coming despite an order of the court for the Assembly to maintain Status quo on the impeachment proceedings.

The motion was jointly sponsored by Majority Leade Sanjo Adedoyin and Akintunde Olajide (Lagelu).

While reading the motion, Adedoyin said the deputy governor had not responded to the allegations. His claim however contradicts an earlier report by the House that the deputy governor had submitted a response to the allegations.

The motion reads: “With this development, the House needs to invoke the provision specified in Section 188(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”

The Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, said the matter was no longer in the House as it has been handed over to the Chief Judge, Justice Muntar Abimbola.

“We have no say whether the deputy governor is guilty or not. The issue will be determined by the seven-member panel to be constituted by the Chief Judge. We are only working in line with the constitution. We will only act upon the report submitted within or at the expiration of the three months.

“We are not in a position to judge in this case. We will ensure due process is followed. The vote was unanimous and we shall wait for the outcome of the investigation and report of the panel.”

The House thereafter adjourned till the July 19.


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