Iroju Ogundeji, a former Deputy Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, has passed a vote of no confidence on the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Williams Akintoroye, stating that he is no longer comfortable with his case on his table.
Ogundeji cited ‘impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice’ as reasons for his acclaimed discomfort.
Roving Reporters reported that Ogundeji requested for the transfer of his case against the state assembly from the newly appointed Chief Judge.
The former Deputy Speaker was impeached last year following crisis that erupted in the House of Assembly in the build up to last year’s governorship election in Ondo state, the report says.
This was succeeded by a panel set up to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against the former Deputy Speaker inaugurated by the assembly.
The leadership of the assembly said that 20 of the twenty-six members of the Assembly signed the impeachment of Ogundeji.
Reacting, Ogundeji described his impeachment as null and void insisting that the leadership of the assembly does 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.
In a letter addressed to the chief Judge Ogundeji said he was no longer comfortable with the fraternization of the Chief Judge with the defendants in the case before him.
“I wish to humbly request for the transfer of my case from your Lordship’s court to another court for a number of reasons:
“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 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, 28th of September, 2021. 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, Rt 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 5th October, 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 be completed.
“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.
“Further to the above submissions therefore, I hereby apply that this case be taken to another Judge for impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice,” Ogundeji appealed.