Law News
CJ sets up panel to investigate Mimiko’s deputy

The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi, has set up a seven-man investigative panel to probe the state’s deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, who has been accused of gross misconduct.

Olanusi had, on Tuesday, been issued with a notice of impeachment by the Ondo State House of Assembly, which listed seven impeachable offences, including gross misconduct, sabotage, financial misappropriation and truancy, against the deputy governor.

The impeachment move came barely three weeks after Olanusi defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress few hours to the March 28 presidential election.

The House had, on Wednesday, directed the Chief Judge to set up the panel to probe Olanusi on the allegations contained in the impeachment notice endorsed by 20 out of the 26 members of the House on Tuesday.

In a letter dated April 23, 2015, Kumuyi said he had heeded the call of the House to set up the panel, pursuant to Section 188(5) of the Constitution.

The CJ’s letter revealed that the seven-man impeachment panel would be chaired by a retired Chief Magistrate in the state, Mr. Olatunji Adeniyan.

The members are Mr. Aladesanmi Akingbade, Mr.Ademola Ekundayo, Mr. Richard Obafemi, Mr. Abraham Mathew, Alhaji Ibrahim Shodeinde and Mrs. Eunice Yinka Obadele.

Kumuyi’s reply to the House read in part, “In line with the provision of Section 188(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, I have set up a seven-man panel to investigate the allegations against the Deputy Governor as required by the Constitution.”

The Ondo lawmakers are accusing Olanusi of, among others, “acting to undermine the office of the governor by causing political disaffection and deliberately working at cross purposes with the governor and the executive council of the state with a view to destabilising the state government.”

The deputy governor is also accused of playing truancy, particularly on April 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 and Monday, April 20, 2015, when he allegedly shunned official engagements without lawful excuse or official authorisation.

Meanwhile, the Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday accused Olanusi of making “desperate moves to procure an order of interim injunction to halt the impeachment proceedings against him.”

In a statement in Akure by its Publicity Secretary, Banji Okunmo, the PDP alleged that the All Progressives Congress had perfected plans to import political thugs into the state to unleash mayhem under the guise of solidarity protest in defence of the deputy governor.

It alleged that the APC had mobilised political thugs to destabilise Ondo.

“The deputy governor and his party have secured the understanding of a GSM service provider, which will assist in disseminating false information about the impeachment process in order to discredit it,” the PDP alleged.

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