New Ondo CJ, Bias, Not Fit To Hear My Case — Ex-Dep Speaker, Iroju

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Daily Metro News NG

The embattled former Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, yesterday requested for the transfer of his case against the State Assembly from the newly appointed Chief Judge State, Justice Williams Akintoroye, for what he called impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice.

Recall, Ogundeji was impeached last year following the crisis that erupted in the House of Assembly in the build up to the October 10 gubernatorial election in Ondo State where he kicked against a move to impeach the then Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi.

An investigation panel on alleged gross misconduct was set up against the former deputy speaker by the assembly while the leadership of the assembly said that 20 of the twenty-six members signed the impeachment of the deputy speaker.

In a request letter obtained by Daily Metro News NG in Akure, yesterday, Ogundeji described his impeachment as null and void, insisting that the leadership of the assembly do not have the required number of lawmakers to impeach him as it was done clandestinely.

He then approached the state High Court to challenge his impeachment.

He said in the letter he addressed to the State Chief Judge that he was no longer comfortable with the fraternisation of the new Chief Judge with the defendants in the case before him.

The letter read in part: The recent elevation and appointment of your Lordship as the Chief Judge will preoccupy your Lordship with a lot of administrative duties, which will definitely hamper the speedy prosecution of the case. Your Lordship emphatically mentioned in the open court when your Lordship said that you hope the case will end at the end of the new legal year. A case that had been filed on 1st of December, 2020 that is the time bound, yet to be heard.

“Your Lordship expressly praised the speaker of the ODHA and his estranged deputy during your Lordship’s confirmation on Tuesday, 28 of September, 2021.”

It noted that “the position that is in contention before your Lordship. Your Lordship expressly mentioned that the House was stable in recent times because of the harmony between the speaker and the disputed deputy speaker. The House that is divided against itself will never hold. Your Lordship proceeded to state that affliction will not rise in the House of Assembly the second time.

“The express interpretation of this statement is a direct reference to my estranged relationship with the speaker as his deputy, whose unlawful impeachment case is pending before your Lordship.

“The speaker of the ODHA, Right Honourable Bamidele Oleyelogun, and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice who are defendants and counsels in the matter boasted to me that my case had been settled with your Lordship, more so when your Lordship promised to work in harmony with the house on the floor of the House of Assembly during your confirmation ceremony.

“It may interest your Lordship to note that the registrar openly announced to lawyers and litigants present in court on October 5, 2021, that only part-heard cases in Court 2 will be heard in the present Court 1, all other cases are retained in Court 2, my case is not part-heard as your Lordship ordered pleadings to be filed and in accordance with the directive of the court, pleadings had just been completed.”

It added that the “trial has not commenced. No witness has been called, therefore listing my case to commence hearing in your court clearly suggests interest by the court.

“Consequently, I am not confident that I will get justice from your Lordship’s court, coupled with incessant adjournment since first of December, 2020. Your Lordship’s interest is highly suggestive of possible interest, bias and prejudice. The video recording of your Lordship’s statement is available on request.”

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