Following the removal of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi by the Ondo State House of Assembly on Monday, and the nomination of Lasisi Oluboyo, the state Commissioner for Agriculture as the new deputy governor, the impeachment saga reached its peak when the seven-man panel of investigation set up by the State Chief Judge, Olasehinde Kumuyi, chaired by Olatunji Adeniyan had on Monday morning submitted its report to the State House of Assembly.
The Ondo State House of Assembly had last week served Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi a notice of impeachment based on seven counts of alleged gross misconduct in office.
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The Monday plenary session was attended by 24 out of the 26 members of the House, including the Speaker, all in support of the impeachment.
The impeachment motion was moved by the Majority Leader, Henry Akinsoyinu, who revealed that the seven impeachable offences of gross misconduct and abuse of office leveled against the Deputy Governor have been proved.
According to reports, the seven count charges were:
1. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor, permitted and condoned the perpetration of fraudulent activities in the office of the Deputy Governor in that Alhaji Bola Idris Olanusi, the younger brother and Special Assistant in the office of the Deputy Governor procured false LPO’s with the knowledge of Alhaji Ali Olanusi and obtained from one EHISO RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, two (02) Trucks of AGO with forged documents and for personal benefits, thereby putting the office of the Deputy Governor into Disrepute
2. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor of Ondo state and having full knowledge that his younger brother, Alhaji Bola Idris Olanusi, who at all material time was his personal staff had engaged in activities unbecoming of officials of Government refused to sanction, query or discipline the said staff, thus, bringing the office of the Deputy Governor into disrepute”
3. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor of Ondo State engaged in Press Release and interview with various media outlets especially at pages 50 and 51 of the Saturday Punch of April 18, 2015 publication wherein false allegations were leveled against the Governor who was falsely portrayed as
(i) A person who instigated the carting away of Ballot Boxes.
(ii) A person who instigated the killing of people in Ondo State.
(iii) A person who disrespects the Judiciary.
(iv) A person who worked against the interest of the President.
(v) A person who bribed the electorate.
4. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor of Ondo State, engaged in Absenteeism and truancy by regularly absenting himself from office, place of work and other official engagements especially on 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th of April and Monday, 20th of April , 2015 without lawful excuses or authorization but generally acting in a manner inconsistent with the dictates and expectations of the high office of the Deputy Governor of a State, thus, undermining the governance process, an act which amount to gross misconduct under the Constitution.
5. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor on or about Wednesday 15th April 2015 caused his security aides to shoot indiscriminately at peaceful protesters along Fiwasaiye/Oba Adesida Road in Akure thus creating panic, breakdown of law and order, and general sense of insecurity within the State under pretext that the said protesters disrupted his convoy, an act unbecoming of holder of high office of the Deputy Governor.
6. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor at various dates collected various sums of money for the purpose of traveling and medical bill as follows: 2009 (N8, 175, 410), 2010 (N8, 952, 600), 2013 (N10, 833, 200) and 2014 (N11, 328, 100) when in actual fact, the said Alhaji Ali Olanusi did not travel on the said specified dates or did not travel at all and, or did not expand the approved medical bills as appropriate, thereby unlawfully enriching himself and/causing loss to the State Government.
7. “That Alhaji Ali Olanusi, being the holder of the office of Deputy Governor engaged in political conduct designed to undermine the office of the Governor by ensuring political disaffection and deliberate working at cross purpose with the Governor and the Executive Council of the State with a view to destabilizing the State government by openly canvassing for the impeachment of the Governor following the Presidential Election conducted on 28th of March, 2015 which amounts to an act of gross misconduct under the provisions of the Constitution”, the accusation read.
The House maintained that the deputy governor was impeached “Pursuant to the provision of section 188 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, We the undersigned members for the Ondo State House of Assembly pursuant to our enabling powers under section 188 (2) of the 1991 constitution of the present to the Speaker the following allegations of gross misconduct against the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi.”
Before his impeachment, youths numbering more than 200 took over major streets in Akure, the Ondo State capital protesting against the continuous stay in office of the State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, APC
The youths under the aegis of Concerned Ondo State Youths had demanded for the immediate resignation of the Deputy Governor or his impeachment from office by the State House of Assembly.
The leader of the protesters, Mr. Akintunde Lawal, in his address said the deputy governor was over ambitious hence his defection to APC, saying: “Olanusi had thought that the APC will have majority in the House of Assembly and later impeach Governor Olusegun Mimiko and thereafter assume the office as the Governor of the State.”
The protesting youths, said they were not sponsored to take to the street, but took the action to save the State from underdevelopment, saying the Deputy Governor was no longer active.
A protester Afolayan Simeon said a seven-day ultimatum was given to Olanusi to voluntarily resign or face impeachment.
“We don’t want a dormant Deputy Governor, we want active and young person, who can assist the Governor to move the State forward and we are giving the Deputy Governor seven days to resign or face the music; this state must continue to develop,” he noted.
Some political anaylists said that the reason for the impeachment might be because the Governor of the State, Mimiko and his deputy were no longer in the same political page, because he defected to the APC.
Barely two days to the Presidential election, the Ondo State deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, dumped the PDP to the rival APC.
The development came barely five days after the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru, dumped the APC for PDP.
In a swift reaction to Olanusi’s defection, the Ondo State government said it wished the deputy governor well.
The State Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, had stated in a two-paragraph statement that, “The State government just received the news of the defection of Alhaji Olanusi, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, to the APC.
“Though it came as a surprise, the government acknowledges his right to determine his political affiliation, we wish him well.’’