Ondo CJ withdraws from former Deputy Speaker impeachment suit
The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Williams Akintoroye has withdrawn from the suit challenging the removal of Hon Iroju Ogundeji as the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Justice Akintoroye excused himself from the suit as a result of the allegation of likely bias leveled against him by the embattled lawmaker representing Odigbo constituency 1 in the Assembly.
Mr. Ogundeji is challenging his impeachment before the court.
He had last week accused the Chief Judge of bias and prejudice against him.
He also said he was not comfortable with the fraternisation between the defendants and the Chief Judge.
In the petition submitted to the Chief Registrar of the court yesterday, Ogundeji said the elevation of Justice Akintoroye to the position of Chief Judge would not enable him to dispense with the case which is time bound.
The embattled lawmaker said the recent elevation and appointment of Justice Akintoroye as the Chief Judge would preoccupy him with a lot of administrative duties which will definitely hamper the speedy prosecution of the case. According to him, the case that was filed in the court since December, 2020 has not proceeded to hearing eleven months after.
His words ” Your Lordship expressly praised the speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly 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.”
But when the case came up for hearing yesterday, Justice Akintoroye said he had laboured for many years to build a name and would not want it to be rubbished because of a political case before him.
His words “I have my name to protect. I have laboured day and night to protect the only legacy I have, which is my name. I have not desecrated this seat. I have worked in virtually all judicial divisions in Ondo State without blemish. I practiced for 18 years before I was appointed as a judge.”
Although he said the petition against him was contemptious, he however said he would not commit the embattled lawmaker to prison for the offence against the integrity of the court.
Justice Akintoroye said all allegations against him in the past have been dismissed because he did not have any skeleton in his cupboard. He added that he is a man with white garments who would not go near oil.
Consequently, the judge transferred the case to another registry to be assigned to another court for adjudication.