Claim: Several Facebook users claimed that if the process against Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the current Ondo State deputy governor, is successful, then the governor would have impeached two deputies during his eight-year administration.
Verdict: Mr. Akeredolu’s deputy during the first term of his administration, Agboola Ajayi, won the court case that prevented him from getting impeached, and he completed his tenure as deputy governor.
A lot transpired in Ondo State after the governor took medical leave in June 2023. As seen on Sahara Reporters, Mr. Akeredolu was battling leukaemia (blood cancer), necessitating his recent extended medical trip. Subsequently, he handed a letter to his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, announcing his medical leave to the State Assembly on June 7, 2023.
A few days later, reports of the state assembly members embarking on an impeachment process against Deputy Governor Aiyedatiwa over allegations of gross misconduct trended.
As of Sept. 21, 2023, the state assembly is yet to officially impeach the deputy, though the process is ongoing as 23 of the 26 members signed the impeachment notice served to him.
A Facebook post by IdanreTv Makanre claimed he would be the second deputy governor to be impeached in Akeredolu’s regime. The caption reads, “If the impeachment happens, it would be a second deputy governor removal in Akeredolu’s regime. This is serious.”
Another user, Mr. Classic OmoiyawoJesuKristi, accused the governor of personnel mismanagement. He said, “Gov Aketi removed the first deputy Agboola. Now, he’s about to also impeach the second one [sic.], then something is wrong with Gov Aketi.”
The allegation and comments suggest political intolerance between the governor and his deputies since he first won in 2016. This prompted DUBAWA to verify the claim.
Using keyword search, we tracked events since Akeredolu was sworn into office as Ondo State governor in 2016. We discovered that the crisis began when the state edged closer to the election year 2020 while the ruling party prepared to contest for a second term in office.
At the time, the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, had joined the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) to contest while his principal ran on the APC ticket. The process began after 14 members of the 26-person state parliament signed the impeachment notice against the then-deputy governor.
However, the state’s chief judge, Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, rejected the impeachment process, stating that two-thirds of the house did not assent to the move as demanded by Section 188 (4) of the Nigerian constitution. The expected number of 18 was unmet as nine members disassociated themselves from the action.
Mr. Ajayi finished the tenure as Akeredolu’s deputy, though Mr. Aiyedatiwa replaced him for the governor’s second term.
Though the process was initiated against Mr. Ajayi by the state assembly, it ended in futility. Mr Ajayi finished his tenure. Therefore, the claim is false.