A lawyer, Mr Donald Ayibiowu, has called on Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo not to make his deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, a scapegoat over allegation preferred against him by the state house of assembly.
Ayibiowu, an indigene of Okelusi Town in Ondo State, made the call in an open letter he wrote to the governor and a copy made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The letter titled: “An Open Letter to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in respect of the Ongoing Needless Charade Called Impeachment of the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Request for Leadership, Restraint, Caution and Focus in the Governance of Ondo State,” was dated Sept. 20.
The state’s lawmakers, during plenary, had alleged that Aiyedatiwa was involved in gross misconduct while in the office as an acting governor.
The assembly wrote a letter to the deputy governor, to respond to the allegation within seven days, signalling the beginning of his impeachment.
Ayibiowu congratulated Akeredolu on his quick recovery and return to Nigeria from his medical treatment abroad.
The Abuja-based legal practitioner said while Akeredolu was away, the state was left near rudderless by a combination of factors ranging from debilitating politicking, rumor mongering, sycophancy, etc.
“One may be tempted to forgive the various dramatis persona in the light of the fact that your unexpected ailment may not have allowed you to give proper directives as to the governance structure type you want in your absence.
“Now that you are back and still recuperating in your Ibadan home, but in the light of your communication to the Ondo State House of Assembly that you have resumed work, one expects that you take charge fully of affairs of our dear Ondo, notwithstanding, the Shenanigans of family, friends and close political associates.
“The shocking news of the on-going pointless impeachment of your deputy, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, is the least the people expects from our dear state.
“I dare say that your deputy should not be made the ‘scape goat’ for what the whole world can see glaringly as ‘fuji house of commotion’ in your absence.
“To participate, consent or authorise his removal would mean that you have taken side.
“Your Excellency, your approach should be to declare that ‘all have sinned and come short the glory of God’, because I believe you don’t even know who is right, wrong, true, good or bad,” he said.
According to him, you cannot be seen to want to adopt one sided narration of wrong doing in your absence.
“This move will be misunderstood by most people; it will obstruct proper governance, due administration and it will subject our state to another round of ignoble national odious and negative perception that comes with such exertion’” he advised.
He said if some of the power brokers within the state had scores to settle with Aiyedatiwa, they should rather do so privately and not fiddle with the peace and integrity of the state.
“I wish to place on record that I have been your ardent supporter from your days as NBA President and I don’t know your deputy in person, I have never met him in person or by proxy, neither do I intend to hold brief for him.
“I believe he may have, or harbor gubernatorial ambition after your tenure but I will like to tell you that the deputy governor, as Acting Governor, if he was very desperate, could have sack some of your appointees or could have radically alter the status quo in your absence.
“But he didn’t do any of these things, why not imply that he is a saint, no one his either,” he said.
The lawyer, however, advised that should the governor intend to proceed with the impeachment of his deputy, he should follow the law and respect the sanctity of court processes.
His words: “Mr Governor, the law is settled per the position of the Supreme Court in Inakoju v. Adeleke on the process and procedures for the removal of persons holding the Office of the Governor/Deputy Governor.
“You are a respected law scholar in Nigeria.
“Therefore, should it be politically expedient for your team to proceed with their action, counsel them to follow the law.
“So far, the public have not seen any cogent misconduct or clear-cut financial misappropriation or embezzlement attributable to the deputy governor to warrant this harassment.”
Ayibiowu urged Akeredolu to call the impeachment actors to order, focus on finishing strong, pull his team together, motivate them and concentrate on delivery his campaign promises to the people.