By Nkasi Kolie
A retired Permanent Secretary, Prince Ade Okiki has dragged the Ondo State government and the State House of Assembly to court over the nomination of Chief Olayato Aribo as a Commissioner-designate by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
In the suit with No AK/224/2021 filed on November 24 filed on behalf of the community leader by his counsel, Chief Ademuyiwa Adeniyi, he said the lawmakers in the state should not confirm Aribo as a commissioner in the cabinet of Governor Akeredolu due to antecedents.
Governor Akeredolu had recently nominated 14 new commissioners designate and seven special advisers. Among the commissioner nominees was Aribo who will represent the Ose Local Government Area of the state.
In the suit filed at the Ondo State High Court, Akure, Okiki sought the disqualification of Aribo, stating that the latter’s appointment offends the spirit, intent and the express clear provisions of Section 192 (4) of the 1999 Constitution. He had earlier written to the State House of Assembly to disqualify the businessman cum politician.
Okiki, who retired as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources during the administration of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, asked the court to determine whether Aribo who had been allegedly found guilty of gross misconduct and on the basis of which he was allegedly dismissed from his employment in a financial institution and consequently blacklisted from being employed or appointed again into any post of responsibility, can be appointed and cleared as commissioner in the state.
The retired Permanent Secretary, who is from the same Local Government with Aribo, said the nominee should not be confirmed as it would dent the image of the people of the council area who are known for honesty and would impugn on the integrity of the cabinet of the state government.
He said in a statement that said since the suit had been filed, and the parties aware of the pendency of the suit, they should not go ahead with the consideration of Aribo’s name as the commissioner nominee from the Ose Local Government.
He said any attempt to clear Aribo in defiance of the case would amount to contempt of court and would be prejudicial to the outcome of the case.
Okiki appealed to the Speaker, Hon Bamidele Oleyeloogun and other lawmakers to obey the rule of law and stay further processing of the name of Aribo in the Assembly.