By Adegbola Odunyemi, Esq.
It is clear, incontrovertible and unambiguous that the continuous absence of the governor of Ondo State Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is in violation of sections189 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2011 as amended and as such the house of assembly of the state is under obligation to set up a medical committee to ascertain his state of health in accordance with the provisions of the constitution as quoted below.
(1) The Governor or Deputy Governor of a State shall cease to hold office if
(a) by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all members of the executive council of the State, it is declared that the Governor or Deputy Governor is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and
(b) the declaration in paragraph (a) of this subsection is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the speaker of the House of Assembly.
(2) Where the medical panel certifies in its report that in its opinion the Governor or Deputy Governor is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the State.
(3) The Governor or Deputy Governor shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria –
(a) one of whom shall be the personal physician of the holder of the office concerned; and
(b) four other medical practitioners who have, in the opinion of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, attained a high degree of eminence in the field of medicine relative to the nature of the examination to be conducted in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section.
(5) In this section, the reference to “executive council of the State” is a reference to the body of Commissioners of the Government of the State, howsoever called, established by the Governor and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of Government as the Governor may direct.
In view of the extant provisions of the law, we demand forthwith that the status of the health of Akeredolu should be made public.
The state cannot continue in leadership vacuum as the governor have written back to the house of assembly announcing his return from medical vacation and certified himself fit to assume the governance duty. However, his whereabouts have been unknown ever since he secretly returned to the state.
We shall be approaching the court for and order of mandamus against the executive council of the state and Ondo State House of Assembly to with immediate effect declare Akeredolu incapacitated and his deputy should take over without further delay.
Odunyemi, a Lawyer writes from Ondo State.
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