The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has fought Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to a stalemate since his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC). Efforts to impeach the deputy governor as sanction for abandoning the APC, the political party platform that brought him to office, have continued to be frustrated by the political sophistication of the deputy governor.
First, the impeachment of Deputy Governor Ajayi was first stalled when the chief judge of the Ondo State rejected the request of the State House of Assembly to appoint a panel of inquiry to investigate the deputy governor.
Subsequently, certain lawmakers loyal to Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi who were opposed to the impeach were suspended by the House. Yet, the impeachment cannot be sustained.
The deputy governor appeared to be getting stronger as a high court in Ondo State reinstated three lawmakers suspended by the House leadership on allegation of misconduct. National Daily gathered that the court not only reinstated the lawmakers, but further directed the House to immediately pay the lawmakers all their entitlements, and additional N5 million compensation to each of the legislators.
The presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola, in his judgment stated that it is illegal to prevent an elected legislator from duly representing his or her constituency.
Justice Bola declared the suspension of the lawmakers illegal, stating that the action violated sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The three suspended lawmakers were said to include the Deputy Speaker of the House. They were identified to be among nine lawmakers who refused to sign the impeachment notice of Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi in June after his defection from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The House members through their Counsel, Banjo Ayelakin, had challenged their suspension in court as unlawful.
The proceedings have been seemingly difficult for the governor to ease out the deputy governor who may have been crippling his boss in the power tussle in the state.
Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi defected from the APC to the PDP, thereafter, he defected to the Zenith Labour Party after he lost the governorship ticket of the PDP to Eyitayo Jegede. Deputy Governor Ajayi is currently ther governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party in the October election in Ondo State.