The embattled Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon Iroju Ogundeji, has asked the Chief Judge of the State, Justice William Akintoroye, to withdraw from the impeachment proceedings pending before the court.
Ogundeji, who is challenging his impeachment before the court, 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.
Pointedly, Ogundeji 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.
“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”.
Ogundeji said the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun, and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, who are defendants and counsels in the matter had boasted that the case had been settled the court.
The embattled lawmaker said the Registrar announced to lawyers and litigants present in court at the last adjourned date that only part-heard cases in court two would be heard in the present court.
His words: “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.”
He added that the case should be taken to another Judge for impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice.