Dear Hon. Speaker,
RE: THE PURPORTED RESUMPTION OF OFFICE BY THE GOVERNOR. OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU SAN, CON: THE NEED TO MANDATE THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR, LUCKY ORIMISAN AIYEDATIWA TO PERFORM THE FUNCTIONS OF THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR IN ACTING CAPACITY.
We write to your esteemed office to formally demand for the good people of Ondo State, the presence of the Governor, His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu in Akure, the Ondo State capital within three (3) days from the date of the receipt of this letter, having put into consideration the following facts;
- The Governor reportedly submitted a letter to you dated 7th September. 2023. informing you and the good people of Ondo State of his resumption of office on the Ondo State Government letter head paper bearing the Alagbaka Office address in Akure, Ondo State as widely reported in the media.
Unfortunately the Governor has not reported in Akure or any other part of Ondo State till date. The total period, put together since the date of the said letter is now sixty (60) days.
- By the provisions of Section 190 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution), it is clearly stated that “Whenever the Governor is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to that effect, and until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written declaration to the contrary, the Deputy 1
Governor shall perform the functions of the Governor as Acting Governor.” Till date he has deliberately refused to do this.
- Going by the legal consequence of the above cited section and by the non-appearance of Mr Governor in any part of Ondo State since his supposed resumption, it is apparent that the Governor has been unable to carryout the functions of his office and having failed to transmit a letter conveying same to the House of Asembly for the past 60 days, the House of Assembly has no choice therefore than to invoke the provisions of Section 190 (2) of the Constitution. For the avoidance of doubt, section 190 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that “In the event that the Governor is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the House of Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of the House, mandate the Deputy Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor.”
In the consequence thereof, the Governor having failed to;
i. Resume his office at the Governor’s office in Akure,
ii. Communicate/interract with the citizens of Ondo State (either physically, on radio and television) and/or
iii. Carryout the functions of his office including but not limited to, holding of the State Executive Council meetings, attending and/or participating in the National Economic Council meetings and other Federal Government engagements.
- The Governor is, with the greatest respect “UNFIT” to carryout the duties of his office, and the people of Ondo State are in dire need of a leader to chart the course of progress, determine the general direction of the policies of government and coordinate the activities of the government in the state.
- The good people of Ondo State are now very much desirous of someone that is fit to carryout the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor and you are therefore expected to immediately mandate the Deputy Governor to immediately commence the performance of the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor as required by law. This is necessary, in order to cover up the vacuum which has been created by the continued absence of Mr Governor from the state.
- Being the custodian if the legislature in Ondo State, you are expected to uphold your allegiance first, to the Constitution that you swore an oath to uphold and to the good people of Ondo State by taking up your duty and within three (3) days cause the
Governor to either:
a. Return to office, at Alagbaka, Akure
b. To speak to the people of Ondo State, either on radio, television or on both media.
c. And where (a) and (b) above become impracticable, proceed to mandate the Deputy Governor to start performing the functions of the office of the Governor in Acting capacity.
- Failure to do any of the above, we shall be left with no other option than to proceed before the appropriate court of law to seek the legal interpretations to Sections 190 and 191 of the Constitution.
Do accept the warmth of our esteemed regards.
Engr Alabi Johnson
For: The Coordinator, ONDO LIBERATION INITIATIVE