THE dust over the impeachment proceedings against embattled Ondo State Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has not settled.

All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from Ese-Odo Local Government Area, where he hails from, dissociated themselves from his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend, and asked him to resign his position for jumping ship.

Ajayi defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the platform on which he was elected, to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), where he is seeking the governorship ticket.

The House of Assembly last week began an impeachment process with a letter to the Chief Judge to constitute a panel to investigate its allegations of gross misconduct against the deputy governor.

But the CJ has declared, saying the House of Assembly had not met all the conditions.

Reacting to moves by the House to impeach him, Agboola asked the Speaker, Bamidele Oleyelogun to either resign or be removed by the lawmaker.

But, returning his salvos, the House dared the governor to use his purported majority members to remove the Speaker.

Also, as the ruling APC prepares for the shadow poll scheduled for Monday, the party clarified that protesting governorship aspirants cannot dictate the mode of primary to the chapter.

Today, the APC Screening Appeal Committtee for Ondo primary will consider the appeal of the only governorship aspirant who failed screening last week.

Ese-Odo council APC leaders maintained that the deputy governor should resign, having dumped the party that brought him to power.

At an enlarged party meeting held at Igbekebo, the local government headquarters, the leaders flayed the deputy governor for staying put in office after castigating the party that brought him into office.

The meeting, which was presided over by the APC Deputy State Chairman, Agabra Ikoto Atili, was attended by notable leaders, including Commissioner for Information and Orientation Donald Ojogo and Deputy Chief of Staff Jimi Kuforiji.

The meeting also expelled the House of Assembly member representing Ese-Odo Constituency, Mr. Success Taiwo Torukerijoh, for anti-party activities and misrepresentation of the APC.

The motions on resignation and expulsion were moved by Hon Richard Omosehin and seconded jointly by Ojogo and Hon. Corporal Nanaopiri.

But, Ajayi also called on Speaker Oleyelogun to either resign or be removed from office for bringing the parliament to disrepute.

He said the removal of Oleyelogun would preserve Nigeria’s democratic gains, restore the dignity of the legislature and the principle of separation of powers.

Speaking through his Media Adviser, Allen Sowore, Ajayi said the decision of Justice Akeredolu in respect of the move to impeach him rekindled the confidence and hope of the people in the judiciary as a bulwark against tyranny and totalitarianism.

Ajayi noted that Justice Akeredolu left no one in doubt on the need to adhere strictly to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and due process in modern democracy.

He described the decision as a triumph for the rule of law against brigandage and anarchy.

He said: “With the decision, the judiciary of Ondo State has demonstrated its independence and thus made a clear statement about its commitment to secure and sustain the principles and lofty ideals of our constitutional democracy.

“We are reminded of the triumph of the human spirit across the age against totalitarianism and encouraged to bring to live the progressive provisions of our constitution that are antidotes to satanic demagoguery and maximum leadership.

“The deputy governor is humbled by the epochal decision, and reinvigorated to continue to stand for the good of the people as arrow head of the move to return government to where it rightly belongs – the people of Ondo state.”

However, the lawmakers have asked the deputy governor to use his purported majority numbers to remove the Speaker.

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Akogun Olugbenga Omole, who spoke to reporters in Akure, the state capital, accused Ajayi of making unsubstantiated allegations.

Omole taunted Ajayi of boasting to have control of majority of the lawmakers.

He said: “The Speaker will not be removed. He said he has majority lawmakers. Let him use the majority to remove the Speaker.”

Also on Sunday, the ruling party said protesting governorship aspirants cannot dictate mode of primary to the party.

Supporters of 10 aspirants at the weekend protested in Akure, demanding for direct mode of primary for the July 20 primary of the party.

The party maintained that it was inconceivable that aspirants would dictate to the party on which mode to adopt.

The State Publicity Secretary, Alex Kalejaiye, in a statement, said the party was disturbed at inflammatory statements credited to some of the aspirants, especially the threats to “ensure that the state chapter is brought down”, where the wish was not granted.

He said any committed party member would prefer to work assiduously towards the victory of the party at any election.

Kalejaiye added: “It is imperative for aspirants, like students preparing for examination, to abide by the rules and guidelines from the national secretariat, so long these rules are not at variance with the contents of the party constitution.

“The efforts to set a terrible precedent for the party, by allowing aspirants to dictate what mode to adopt for an election, should be invested in quality and decent campaigns to sell their candidacy to party elders, leaders and members. These groups will definitely speak, directly or through the party structures.

“The State secretariat’s concern is to promote all genuine efforts, geared towards a rancour-free primary election; produce a candidate, who will ultimately retain the State for the party, come October.”

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