Ondo Court Fines Dep Gov, Aiyedatiwa, N200,000 over Counsel’s Absence At Impeachment Hearing

Justice O. Akintan-Osadebay of an Ondo State High Court, sitting in Akure, on Tuesday, awarded N200,000 against the embattled Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, following the failure of his lawyer to appear in Court to argue the motion to stop his impeachment.

Aiyedatiwa had filed a motion in the court restraining the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola and the House of Assembly from proceeding with his impeachment pending the hearing and determination of the appeal he filed against the judgement delivered by the Court dismissing his case.

Justice Akintan-Osadebay, however, dismissed the suit, AK/348/2023, Aiyedatiwa filed, noting that it constituted an abuse of judicial process, given the earlier suit which he had filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja over the same impeachment.

Sequel to the case dismissal, the deputy governor filed a Notice of Appeal together with an application that the court should restrain the House of Assembly and the Chief Judge from proceeding with the impeachment, pending the hearing and determination of his Appeal.

At the resumption of the matter, the counsel to the House of Assembly and the Chief Judge were in Court, but the Deputy Governor’s counsel was absent.

Therefore, Counsel to the State House of Assembly, Femi Emodamori, informed the Court that the motion for injunction was adjourned yesterday based on the agreement of both parties.

Emodamori, however, wondered why the counsel to Aiyedatiwa was absent and did not deem it fit to write the court over his absence.

Justice Akintan-Osadebay, in his response, ordered Aiyedatiwa to pay N50,000 each to the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Olamide Oladiji; the House of Assembly, the Clerk to the House, Benjamin Jaiyola; and the Chief Judge, who were sued as the 3rd to 6th respondents respectively in the motion.

He adjourned the hearing of the motion till November 7, 2023.

The presiding judge said the fine of N200,000 against Aiyedatiwa was for wasting the time of the Court and the other parties