The South West caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has flayed the impeachment of Ondo State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, noting that the process of his removal violated provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The caucus in a statement made available to THE NEW DIPLOMAT on Monday hinged its position on a court order order requesting all parties to maintain status quo in a filed by the embattled deputy governor challenging the plan by the Assembly to impeach him.
The statement issued by the party’s National Vice Chairman for South-west, Chief Pius Akinyelure faulted Alhaji Ali Olanusi’s impeachment, noting that the decision of the state assembly, which acted as Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s rubber stamp, would not stand.
Akinyelure described the impeachment process as a mockery of constitutional order, which he said, Governor Mimiko and all members of the State House of Assembly were sworn in to uphold.
According to the APC chieftain, the House of Assembly committed three different infractions on the 1999 Constitution via the move citing relevant portions of the constitution to back his claim.
He cited violation of section 188(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, saying the above provision was not complied with or observed by the House of Assembly before “the deputy governor was illegally or unconstitutionally removed from Olanusi, which he said, was an outright subversion of the constitution.”
“At the time the impeachment process commenced about fortnight ago, the vice chairman said the deputy governor had travelled out of the country for medical check-up,” noting that the House of Assembly did not serve the notice of impeachment on him or place it any national daily as required by the 1999 Constitution.
He also cited infraction to section 188(6), which states that the holder of the office whose conduct “is being investigated under this section shall have the right to defend himself in person or be represented before the panel on inquiry by a legal practitioner of his own choice.
“As required under section 188 (6) of the 1999 Constitution, Akinyelure said the deputy governor was not offered the opportunity to defend himself, noting that he was not in the county when the impeachment proceedings started.” he wrote.