A new twist has been introduced to the impeachment move initiated by the Oyo State House of Assembly against the deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, as he has dragged the lawmakers to the state High Court, with a view to putting the process on hold.
The case came up before Justice Ladiran Akintola at High Court 7, Ring Road, Ibadan today (Tuesday), and has been adjourned till tomorrow (Wednesday). The deputy governor was represented in court by his legal counsel, Chief Afolabi Fashanu, SAN.
Adjourning the case, the court ordered that the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, and the clerk be put on notice about the litigation. As gathered, the duo have been served the court processes this afternoon.
The impeachment move was initiated after the deputy governor, a retired permanent secretary, dumped the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as a result of purported frosty relationship between him and the governor, Seyi Makinde.
The letter that initiated the impeachment move was dated June 9, 2022, and was received same day in the Office of the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin. It was entitled: ‘Petition and Notice of Allegations of the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Engineer Rauf Olaniyan.’
The letter surfaced barely two weeks after Olaniyan dumped PDP for APC. In the petition read during the plenary, the 24 lawmakers levelled five allegations against Olaniyan, bordering on gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, abandonment of office and official duty, and insubordination and other offences.
The Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, in his reaction after the letter was read, had noted that the petition met the two-third requirements to initiate the impeachment process against the deputy governor. He said the lawmakers would give the deputy governor a seven-day ‘grace period’ to respond to the allegations, which would end on Wednesday June 22.
He, however, warned that failure to respond to the allegations within seven days could lead to the commencement of impeachment move.
The petition read in part: ”Consequent upon listed below, we the under listed elected Honourable members of the 9th assembly hereby allege the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency Eng. Rauf Olaniyan with the following allegations: Gross misconduct, Abuse of office, Financial recklessness, Abandonment of office,official duty, Insubordination and other offences. This is in accordance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011. Section 188.”
But the deputy governor responded to the allegations within four days after receipt of the query from the lawmakers. His response was said to have been sent by his legal counsel.
The spokesman of the assembly, Kazeem Olayanju, confirmed that the Assembly had received the response of Olaniyan when he featured on a radio programme in Ibadan on Thursday June 23, adding that Olaniyan’s response would be read at the plenary that would hold tomorrow (Wednesday), before the litigation came up today.