Nine of the 26-member Ondo State House of Assembly have dissociated themselves from the planned impeachment of the state’s Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi.
The lawmakers are Iroju Ogundeji, Jamiu Maito, Rasheed Elegbeleye, Tomide Akinribido, Samuel Ademola, Favour Tomomewo, Festus Akingbaso, Adewale Adewinle, and Torhukerhijo.
A letter dated July 7 and addressed to the Speaker of the House, David Oleyelogun, bore the signatures of the nine members cutting across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“We the underlisted elected honourable members of the 9th session of the Ondo State House of Assembly hereby append our signatures to clarify that we have resolved not to partake in the impeachment process of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, H.E. Hon. Alfred Agboola Ajayi,” the letter stated.
“In view of the above, we hereby bring to the notice of Mr Speaker, Rt Hon. Bamidele David Oleyelogun, the entire Honourable members of the Ondo State House of Assembly and the general public that we don’t not support the impeachment process and would not want to be associated with it based on personal convictions.”
The letter followed a notice of impeachment signed by 14 of the lawmakers earlier on Tuesday, signalling the commencement of the process of impeachment of the deputy governor.
The constitution requires one-third of the members of the house of Assembly, that is nine members, to move a motion for impeachment.
However, it requires the consent of two-thirds of the 26 members, which is 18 members, to impeach the deputy governor.
A member of the House, Mr Akinribido, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on the development, said the group of nine was determined to ensure the impeachment process fails.
He said despite the uncertainty of politics, the nine members were convinced that the deputy governor has not done anything wrong deserving his impeachment.
“The deputy governor has only exercised his constitution right of freedom of association, by defecting to another political party,” said Mr Akinribido.
“Our position, as we stated in the letter, is based on our personal conviction, and that remains our stand.
“As far as we are concerned, the impeachment process is dead on arrival,” Mr Akinribido said.
The deputy governor has been at conflict with the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, with his focus on his governorship ambition.
He had since been listed as one of the aspirants vying for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, and he is apparently one of the leading aspirants in his new party.