Olaniyan’s Impending Removal: Six Steps To Be Taken By Muideen Olagunju


Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr Rauf Olaniyan has been IMPEACHED. Yes, he has. The impeachment took place yesterday.

Impeachment is one, and in fact the first, of SIX STEPS to be taken before a governor or deputy governor is relieved of his position.

Impeachment is simply the process of bringing charges by the House of Assembly against the deputy governor, the case under review. 24 members of the House of Assembly, representing two-thirds of members, have signed a notice of allegation highlighting the crimes of the deputy governor: gross misconduct, abuse of office, financial recklessness, abandonment of office/official duty, insurbodination and other offences. Once the notice has been transmitted to the Speaker, “impeachment” has happened. I have not seen the full documents but if “detailed particulars” of “gross misconduct” are not specified as required by the constitution, the impeachment may be challenged in court.

The 2nd step after impeachment is the transmission of the notice of allegation to the deputy governor within 7 days of the speaker’s receipt of the notice. Each member of House of Assembly, including those who did not sign the notice of allegation, must also receive the notice within 7 days.

The 3rd step is that within 14 days of the presentation of the notice of allegation to the Speaker, the House shall resolve by motion, without any debate, whether or not the allegation shall be investigated, which motion must be subjected to vote and shall be passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the House.

The 4th step is that 7 days after the vote of the motion that the allegations shall be investigated, the Speaker must make a request to the Chief Judge of the State to appoint a Panel of seven person who in the opinion of the Chief Judge are persons of unquestionable integrity and who must not be members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegations against the deputy governor.

The 5th step is for the deputy governor to have the opportunity to defend himself either in person or be represented before the Panel by a lawyer of his own choice and the Panel must report its findings to the House of Assembly within 3 months.

The 6th step is that proceedings shift back to the House of Assembly. Where the Panel’s report states that the allegations have been proved, then within 14 days of the receipt of the report, the House shall consider the report. Once a resolution of House supported by two-thirds majority of the members is passed to adopt the report, the deputy governor shall be REMOVED from the date of adoption of the report.

Grab the constitution and read the whole of Section 188.

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The removal of the deputy governor is a fait accompli. It will happen. The question is should he resign immediately by not putting the state through the whole gamut of proceedings before a Panel and the House OR hold on so as to fulfil the righteousness of defending himself, even though his fate is sealed?

The only rational reason for his immediate resignation is to save the state the time, drama and cost of proceedings. It’s a political impeachment to be superintended by political elements and a panel that is likely to be heavily influenced. The memories and characters of Ladoja’s impeachment are still fresh. Why go the long haul for something that cannot be prevented? That’s one view.

The rational reason for the deputy governor to either wait till the Panel’s proceedings are completed before resigning or wait to be removed rather than resign is INTEGRITY. If he believes the allegations are spurious or politically motivated, or he believes he is the victim of his partnership with the governor, or that he has facts that will shift the blames to the governor for the irreparable rifts between them, he should defend himself, for records and posterity at least.

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The choice of a deputy governor is one that is usually predicated on the electoral value of the choice. It is a politically important one. A deputy governor is not an appointee of a governor. He is deemed to be Governor’s partner during election campaigns. In fact Section 187 (1) of the constitution states that “….a candidate for the office of Governor of a State shall not be deemed to have been validly nominated for such office UNLESS he nominates another candidate as his ASSOCIATE for his running for the office of the Governor, who is to occupy the office of Deputy Governor..”.

A deputy governor is deemed to have his own support base which complements that of the governor. In the instant case, it is a fact that Olaniyan was picked for his wide contacts, wealth and experience in politics. He was himself a governorship aspirant in ADC before being poached by Governor Seyi Makinde. He was also picked because of his Oke Ogun origin in order to curry Oke Ogun votes. It means he actually contributed to the victory unlike some appointees who were not even in Nigeria or Oyo State before the elections. Engr Olaniyan contributed his clout and other resources. I remember he was the one sent down to Oyo Town to rally ADC leadership after the coalition decision was taken. On the day of swearing in, both he and the governor took oaths of office. They are a tag team. Unfortunately, the situation has turned rag-tag.

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I don’t want to sound too political by stating what I know or what I have heard as contributing to the falling out of two people who started out well. I’ll leave them to the deputy governor to state before the Panel if he elects to go the distance.

Thank you Prince Adetayo Adekunle for “forcing” me to write this. I had decided otherwise till you brought up the distinction between impeachment and removal. Oh yes, Engr Olaniyan has been impeached but he has not been removed.

Mo duro bayi na.

Muideen Olagunju, a former lawmaker, represented Oyo East / Oyo West State Constituency at the 8th Oyo state House of Assembly.

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