By Uche Amunike
Lawmakers of the Oyo State House of Assembly had the Oyo Deputy Governor impeached, Monday, following a series of allegations leveled against him, which bordered on gross misconduct and financial misappropriation.
According to the report of the panel which was set up to investigate the embattled Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan and read by the Majority Leader of the State Assembly, representing Ogbomosho, Sanjo Adedoyin, the reasons given by the lawmakers for having the Oyo Deputy Governor impeached was justified as he was found culpable and indicted of all allegations and complaints.
The Oyo State House of Assembly gave the approval of his impeachment according to the provision made by Section 188(9) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Rauf Olaniyan was elected alongside the incumbent Governor Seyi Makinde on a joint ticket, under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He however, defected to the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Sometime in June, Olaniyan dragged the Oyo State Assembly to court over the impeachment moves made against him by the lawmakers.
The Deputy Governor, who filed an interlocutor injunction to stop the House from going ahead with the impeachment, was represented by his lawyer, Chief Afolabi Fashanu (SAN) and the case was brought before Justice Ladiran Akintola at the Oyo State High Court, situated at Ring Road, Ibadan, June 28.
His lawyer argued that allegation of misconduct leveled against his client was not only without particulars but also vague, in accordance to section 188 of the 1999 constitution. He also held that impeachment was a process, making it imperative for all the items listed in the constitution to be followed to the letter.
The judge ordered that both the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin and the Clerk of the House should be put on notice before he adjourned the matter to June 29.
According to a motion jointly moved by the Majority Leader, Hon Sanjo Onaolapo and Hon Akintunde Olajide, during the plenary held on June 6 however, the Assembly directed that the Chief Judge of the state should set up a seven-man panel, constituted by the State Chief Judge , Justice Munta Abimbola, to investigate the allegation of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor, despite the order by the Oyo State High Court, restraining the State House of Assembly from going ahead with the impeachment process against Olaniyan.
However, in a judgement delivered on July 14, the Judge dismissed the suit on the premise that the lawmakers that got the Oyo Deputy Governor impeached did not in anyway violate the constitution, but rather, complied with the provisions of Section 188 of the constitution on the removal process. He gave the lawmakers the nod to go on with the impeachment process.
He submitted that the 1999 constitution stipulates the process of impeachment and added that the originating summons filed by the claimant were clearly legislative and not judicial.