An Appeal Court in Akure threw out the impeachment of Ali Olanusi as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State on Friday. Delivering his judgment which lasted over an hour, Justice Danjuma held that the impeachment of Mr. Olanusi did not comply with section 188 of the 1999 constitution, as amended.
“Section 188 (11) of the 1999 Constitution as amended is not a weapon for the House of Assembly to police the duty of the deputy governor or to hound him out of office,” Justice Danjuma said.
Danjuma declared that the impeachment of Mr. Olanusi was “null and void” and ordered that his rights and benefits from the time of his removal from office to the period his tenure should be paid.
The Judge held that the State Assembly violated its constitutional duties by the impeachment of the deputy governor as there was no basis for it.
A PDP caucus in the State Assembly impeached Mr. Olanusi on April 27, 2015 on allegations of anti party activities.
Following his impeachment, Mr. Olanusi sued Jumoke Akindele, the former speaker of the State House of Assembly who led the impeachment and the Clerk, Mr. Bode Akinyelu to an High court.
Mr. Olanusi also sued Olatunji Adeniyan, the Chairman of the investigative panel which found him guilty of the impeachable offenses.
In an appeal with number CA/AKU/173/16, Mr. Olanusi told the Court that the Adeniyan-led panel breached his fundamental right to fair hearing.
His counsel, Barrister Richamond Natha-Alade, told appellate court that the sitting and submission of report by the panel within one day denied Olanusi his right to fair hearing. He added that the investigative panel did not give Mr. Olanusi adequate time to defend himself against the allegations of misconduct which found him guilty.
Natha-Alade further claimed that the Adeniyan-led panel failed to personally serve his client with the notice of the allegation of misconduct before proceeding into hearing and reaching its verdict.
A Federal High Court had on August 13, 2016 struck out a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Mr. Olanusi, to challenge his impeachment.The former Deputy Governor who is now a member of the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Congress was away on medical vacation when he was impeached by the PDP lawmakers.