Ondo Assembly withdraws petition against federal high court judge, apologises over vulgar language

Ondo Assembly withdraws petition against federal high court judge, apologises over vulgar language

The Ondo State House of Assembly has withdrawn the petition written against Emeka Nwite, a Federal High Court judge, for giving an order stopping the impeachment of Lucky Aiyedatiwa, deputy governor of the state.

Femi Emodamori, the counsel to the Assembly, disclosed this in a response to the case instituted by Mr Aiyedatiwa where he urged the court to stop the process by the state lawmakers to impeach him from office.

In the copy of the response obtained by Peoples Gazette, Mr Emodamori said the Assembly has also apologised to Mr Nwite over the “wrong choice of words” used on the Federal High Court judge in the petition.

“In response, I submitted on behalf of my Client, just like all the other respected Counsel for the other Defendants in the case, that we had actually prevailed on our Client to withdraw the Petition, and the Petition had been withdrawn on Friday 6th October 2023; in which case, it cannot be used as an excuse to seek an indefinite adjournment. I fully apologise to the Court for any wrong choice of words in the Petition, which was authored and signed by my Client,” an excerpt from the response read on Monday.

Last week, the Ondo Assembly had petitioned the chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC), accusing Mr Nwite of violating the provisions of the Nigerian constitution when he granted an ex parte order restraining governor Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy.

“I write your lordship to formally lodge a complaint against Hon. Justice Emeka Nwite of the Abuja judicial division of the federal high court, for compromising his office and violating the extant provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” the petition reads.

The Assembly added that the judge “ignored judicial decisions of the appellate courts and extant practice directions and/or relevant circulars of the federal high court, to grant an unconstitutional, clearly malevolent, and ostensibly procured ex parte order on 26th September 2023 in Suit FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2023 restraining ODHA as an arm of government from exercising its constitutional powers”.

The Gazette recalls that the decision of the Assembly to petition NJC was a result of the order of the Federal High Court presided over by Mr Nwite who restrained the state lawmakers from impeaching Mr Aiyedatiwa, as the deputy governor of the state.

Mr Nwite, who gave the ruling after Kayode Adewusi, counsel to Mr Aiyedatiwa, moved the ex-parte motion to the effect had also restrained Rotimi Akeredolu from nominating a new deputy.

The Federal High Court judge held that after listening to Mr Adewusi, he is of the view that the interest of justice would be met by granting the application.

The judge further made an order of interim injunction restraining Mr Akeredolu, his servants or privies from harassing, intimidating, embarrassing and preventing Mr Aiyedatiwa from carrying out the functions of his office as deputy governor of Ondo state.

The Assembly had served the deputy governor 14 allegations of gross misconduct amid his impeachment plot.

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