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Lawyer faults allegations against Ondo deputy gov

Lucky Aiyedatiwa

Ondo State deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

A legal practitioner, Mr Allen Sowore, has faulted all the allegations levelled against the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, by the state House of Assembly, describing the allegations as frivolous and ridiculous.

It was gathered that the gross misconduct allegation against the embattled deputy governor had been broken down into 14 offences.

Some of the allegations include speaking against the governor’s health, causing division among the state executive members, and misappropriation of funds among others.

The lawyer, in a statement on Saturday, said there was a need for the House to employ fairness and evidence-based approach in dealing with the matter.

Taking some of the allegations, Sowore said, “Allegation one, press release and interview against the governor, particularly as it pertains to his health. Apart from the fact that section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees freedom of expression, where exactly did the deputy governor make unfair comments about the governor’s health?

“The governor has sacked all the deputy governor’s media aides for the same offence, yet there’s no evidence. The action of Mr. Governor in this regard is, in effect, an attack on press freedom. The media handlers of Mr. Governor have not disclosed any information about the governor’s health status and whereabouts to avoid misinformation.

“Allegations two and three. These are the most ridiculous allegations against the deputy governor. If I may ask, which of our laws regulates political conduct? What is causing division among the State Executive Members?

According to him, allegation 10, as it pertains to N500 million for the administration of the local governments was nebulous, vague, and undefined allegation because the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs was directly in charge of the administration of the 18 local government areas in the state.

“What about the chairmen who are directly responsible for their respective LGAs? Who initiated the proposal? Which account was it taken from? Who approved it?”, he said.

He added, “Bribery allegations must be supported by concrete evidence, including information on the source, recipient, and circumstances surrounding the alleged bribe.  Was the bribe paid directly into the personal account of the deputy governor? Which of the kings made the payment?”

On allegations 12, 13 and 14, he said, “These allegations concern the management of the funds meant for the State Emergency Management Agency, which I’m sure has an executive officer. If anything goes wrong, you have to arrest and prosecute him first. If the deputy governor is culpable or fails in his supervisory role, his offence would be negligence or an assessor. He’s not the principal suspect.

“This is disheartening at a critical time when men and women of good conscience and patriotism should be asking the pertinent question: Where is Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the man who was elected to govern the state?” Sowore said.