…Gov has not defied any court order – Information Commissioner
As condemnation continues to trail the suspension of the Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo by the state governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Allied Peoples Movement, APM, in the state has condemned the governor’s action as unconstitutional.
According to the party, all allegations levelled against the Chief judge are trumped-up allegations, making Adeleke’s action, a nullity and baseless in law.
The chairman of the Osun State chapter of APM , Wale Adebayo, at a media parley in Osogbo, the state capital on Friday knocked the governor for disregarding the rule of law by ignoring an order of the National Industrial Court restraining him or agent of his government from interfering with the judiciary.
He faulted Adeleke for flouting the provisions of the constitution, which stipulates that State Governors and the State Houses of Assembly, cannot exercise disciplinary control touching the removal of Chief Judges of states or other judicial officers.
Adebayo, who is also the state Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, “We view the governor’s action as another instance of his intolerance of democratic institutions, separation of power and checks and balances guaranteed by the constitution”
“A government with even the most inferior of legal advice should know that you do not wake up, triggered either malice or anger or inducement, to announce that you have suspended or passed a resolution to remove the CJ as if it’s some casual enterprise”
“The party vowed to use legitimate means, including, petitions, demonstrations and litigations to protect the sacred institution of the judiciary”.
In a swift reaction, the Osun State government said the petition and preliminary actions on Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo have been sent to the National Judicial Council, NJC.
The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi in a statement Friday defended the action of the governor , insisting that Adeleke has not defied any court order.
He pointed out that it was the state House of Assembly which confirmed the appointment of Mrs Adepele Ojo that asked her to step aside, for it to investigate leadership crisis in the state judiciary.
The commissioner said “It is safe to assert that all that is being posted online are mere stunts as the government is not aware of any pending case at this material moment.
“We also call the attention of the public that the misappropriated money over which investigation is being carried out was appropriated by the State House of Assembly and the body has a constitutional right to inquire how money it appropriated was applied.
“The staff of Osun State Judiciary, who are being denied their right by the Chief Judge and some of who joined in the petition, are employees of the Osun State Government under the authority of OSHA.”
Insisting that the Chief Judge was not suspended by the Governor, Alimi said “Rather, it is the State Assembly on the premise that an official cannot be on the seat whilst the investigation is ongoing, that asked the Chief Judge to step aside. The Governor only acted on the resolution of the House.
“To ensure there is no vacuum, the Governor appointed an Acting Chief Judge, as prescribed by the Constitution in a situation like this.
“It is therefore the responsibility of the State Assembly to inform the public, NJC, and the Governor about its findings, on the conclusion of its investigation, and also make resolutions on the next line of action.”