The Ondo State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Ade Adetimehin, has said the party will not interfere in the impeachment proceedings initiated by the state House of Assembly against the Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
Adetimehin, in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, said the impeachment proceedings were totally a legislative affair and the party would not meddle in it.
The House of Assembly had on Wednesday commenced an impeachment process against the deputy governor, following a petition accusing him of gross misconduct during his time as acting governor when Governor Rotimi Akeredolu was abroad on medical vacation.
The House, at plenary on Wednesday, directed the clerk to write the deputy governor on the allegations against him.
When asked on Thursday for the position of the party on the development, the Ondo APC chairman said, “What the House of Assembly is investigating is to clarify some issues that have to do with the office of the Deputy Governor while acting as the governor when the governor, Arakunrin Oluwafotimu Akeredolu, was on medical vacation and nothing more.
“As a political party, we are not involved with any issue that has to do with the work of the legislative body. We can only watch the development.”
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party knocked the ruling party, expressing excitement that the brewing crisis would sink the APC ahead of next year’s governorship election.
“This is the dress rehearsal for the Ondo 2024 Royal Rumble. By the time winners and losers are announced it would have been too late for the APC a party that has taken Nigeria back by 50 years,” the PDP said.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State House of Assembly, on Thursday, promised fairness in the impeachment process against the deputy governor.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr Olatunji Oshati, in a statement on Thursday, said the letter sent to the deputy governor by the Assembly did not mean that he had already been found guilty of the allegations against him.
“We find it necessary to address some misconceptions regarding the allegation letter served on the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa. It is crucial that our people understand that an allegation letter does not equate to an impeachment verdict.
“Indeed, the allegation letter served on the deputy governor marks the initiation of the impeachment proceedings. However, it’s essential to remember that this is a procedure rooted in due process, not a hastily conducted impeachment. We are conscious of the integrity of our present Assembly and will not falter in our constitutional responsibilities to our constituents.”
The House also declared that the entire process remained within the realm of allegations, saying, “We are committed to examining these allegations objectively.”
“Our primary responsibility is to uphold the integrity of our beloved state and foster accountability and transparency, even at the highest levels of government.
“Consequently, we urge our constituents to refrain from making premature judgments. Neither the deputy governor nor the governor are immune to legislative actions. The allegation letter has been served, and Mr. Deputy Governor has the full right to defend himself. Rest assured, we are committed to following due process and will do so diligently.”