The Osun State chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday, traded words over the suspension of the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.
The Osun APC, in a statement by its chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, berated the governor, saying he was uninformed about the constitutional provisions on the matter of the CJ.
“When the blind leads the blind, the fall of all of them will be catastrophic which is what is being witnessed in Osun State today.
“The haphazard handling of the CJ’s suspension by the Osun State lawmakers further confirms the allegation by the public that nothing beneficial to the citizenry can evolve from the Assembly, which 16 of its members are alleged to be Yahoo chieftains?
“One is safe to conclude that the House of Assembly under the speakership of Wale Egbedun has an image problem to contend with before the members of the public can take them seriously that they are not the suckers and lapdogs of Governor Adeleke”, Lawal said.
However, in a swift response, the Osun PDP, in a statement by its chairman, Sunday Bisi, declared support for the governor and the House of Assembly on the handling of the CJ’s matter, saying Adeleke demonstrated competence and patriotism in his handling of state matters.
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Bisi said: “In the case of issues around the Chief Judge, Governor Adeleke has done the right thing by communicating the development to the National Judicial Council for action. The NJC had received the governor’s letter since last Thursday, putting paid to all ambiguities and misinformation.
“The sign of a good leader is the capacity to set records straight in cases of misinformation. This is what Mr Governor has done. The state PDP reaffirmed its confidence in the leadership style of the state governor and that of the state Assembly, chiding the state APC for lacking a deeper understanding of the dynamics of governance.”
In the same vein, the spokeman of Governor Adeleke, Olawale Rasheed, in another statement dismissed the claim that the CJ’s troubles stemmed from her judgment in the murder case of a Master’s student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Timothy Adegoke, leading to a death sentence on the owner of Hilton hotels, Ile-Ife, Ramon Adedoyin.
Rasheed said: “What is more, throughout the trial, Adedoyin’s legal team was manned by prominent APC lawyers from the beginning to the end. No single PDP lawyer was involved with the Adedoyin team.
“We affirm that the crisis rocking the state judiciary has to do with a series of petitions from judicial officials on alleged misconduct of the Chief Judge. On each occasion, those petitions always ended up unprocessed over deliberate blackmail with the Adedoyin matter until recent action by the state Assembly.
“The governor’s sin is his consistent refusal to accept overtures to protect his kinswoman, the Chief Judge, from probe on alleged corruption. Mr. Governor has always maintained his ground that if as a governor he is not immune from accountability questions, why should he use his office to protect another official because of blood or town kinship?”
Ripples Nigeria reports that the controversies surrounding the removal of the Chief Judge took a new turn when the state House of Assembly passed a resolution suspending her despite a subsisting order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), sitting in Ibadan.
Adeleke’s spokesman, Rasheed, announced the acceptance of the resolution in a statement and the suspension of the CJ. He followed it up with the announcement of an acting CJ, adding that the new man will be sworn-in by the state’s deputy governor.
However, with backslashes that followed, the state’s Commissioner of Information, Kolapo Alimi, denied reports that Adeleke was the one that suspended the CJ, insisting that it was the House of Assembly that suspended her. Alimi also, on Sunday, in a total volt face, declared that the CJ was not suspended neither was an acting CJ appointed. According to him, Governor Adeleke merely communicated with the National Judicial Council (NJC) that the CJ was being investigated.
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