The Ondo State House of Assembly and its Speaker have suffered a setback in their bid to impeach the Deputy Governor of the state, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed their application to expedite the hearing of their appeal against the order of the Federal High Court in Abuja that stopped the impeachment process.
The House of Assembly and its Speaker had filed an appeal on October 3, challenging the ex-parte orders made by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court on September 26.
The orders restrained the Ondo State Governor, the Chief Judge, the House of Assembly, its Speaker and others from taking any steps to impeach Aiyedatiwa pending the determination of a motion on notice for interlocutory injunctions.
The appellants also filed an application on October 20, seeking to abridge the time for the respondents to file their briefs of argument. They argued that the matter was urgent and required a speedy resolution.
However, the respondents, led by Aiyedatiwa’s lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), opposed the application. They contended that the appellants failed to show any exceptional circumstances to warrant the grant of such an application.
In a ruling delivered yesterday, a three-member panel of the appellate court agreed with the respondents and dismissed the application for lack of merit. The court held that the appellants did not demonstrate any urgency or necessity to justify the abridgment of time.
The court also noted that the appellants had earlier withdrawn another application to extend time to compile and transmit the record of appeal. The court said that the withdrawal of the application had the effect of returning the appeal to the normal course of events under the Rules of the court.
The ruling of the appellate court means that the impeachment process against Aiyedatiwa remains suspended until the substantive appeal is heard and determined. The court adjourned the hearing of the appeal to a date to be communicated to the parties.