A former speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Adeolu Adeleke, has described as false and a tissue of lies, an account of the impeachment story of former governor Rashidi Ladoja given by the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola.
In a circulating video of his interview on Instagram, Fashola said he and a group of lawyers instituted the case against Ladoja’s impeachment, saying “it was that case that went all the way to the Supreme Court and Ladoja was returned to office before he finally lost his re-election.”
Ladoja was impeached in January, 2006 by a group of lawmakers loyal to the then strongman of Ibadan politics, Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu, but was reinstated by the Supreme Court in December of the same year.
Reacting to Fashola’s claim, the former speaker said the case that reinstated Ladoja as governor as filed by him and not Fashola or the unnamed lawyer in the interview.
Adeleke said the clarification became necessary because Fashola said he was going to mention the incident in his memoir, advising him to acquaint himself with facts so that such memoir will not be laced with inaccuracies and outright untruths.
According to the former speaker, the case, which is still famously referenced in court as Inakoju & 17 ors v Adeleke, was filed on his behalf by Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, Bayo Shittu and Akinyele Sanyaolu.
“My attention has been drawn to the interview of Mr Raji Fashola SAN where he stated that the legal team that filed the case of impeachment proceeding of Senator Rashidi Ladoja, the then Governor of Oyo State at Oyo State High Court was constituted in Lagos State.
“Mr Fashola SAN refused to mention the names of the said lawyers. He further stated that the case that was filed by these lawyers got to the Supreme Court. This is a distortion of fact.
“For record purpose, I Right Honourable Adeolu Abraham Adeleke, as the then Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, instituted the first case on the impeachment proceedings at the Oyo State High Court which got to the Supreme Court.
“I was represented in the state High Court by Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, Barr. Bayo Shittu and Barr. Akinyele Sanyaolu. My legal team was constituted in Ibadan not in Lagos State as stated by Mr Raji Fashola SAN.
“Gov. Ladoja even joined the case that got him reinstated at the Court of Appeal. Yusuf Alli SAN filed Ladoja’s case at the Court of Appeal.
“To the best of knowledge, no other case was filed in Ibadan on the impeachment proceedings other than the one that I did. This fact is stated to help Mr Fashola SAN to write a factual memoir.
“Furthermore, Mr Fashola SAN said that Gov. Ladoja lost his re-election bid after his reinstatement. This is another goof by Fashola. Sen. Ladoja never re-contested at that time.
“I strongly advise Fashola SAN to always have his facts before going to the public. Facts are sacred, only comments are free. This much should be known to Fashola who is as Senior Advocate of Nigeria.” Adeleke said.