February 28, 2024

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State dissolved the State Judicial Service Commission in order to pave the way for the removal of the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, members of the dissolved commission have alleged.

In a statement signed by Rotimi Makinde and Tomi Olagbaju on behalf of the other members of the commission and obtained on Tuesday in Osogbo, the ex-members described the dissolution before the end of their five-year tenure as an act of “executive recklessness which should not be enlivened for the sake of common sense, decency, orderliness and our fledgling democracy.”

They claimed that their commission’s dissolution was politically motivated and had a connection with the plot to remove the CJ from office.

The statement partly read, “When the state government could not find the CJ pliable to execute their devious plan and consequently could not find anything incriminating against the CJ, since all approvals from her office to our commission went through due process of law, the governor believed the best strategy to adopt is to disband us and bring in ductile characters, even when our tenure remains four years.

“It is strange that a government which has become a butt of jokes and comedy in the comity of states over unending financial infraction, recently being its inability to justify the over N130bn revenue accrued to last year and failure to account for N10bn extra budget for food and entertainment inserted in the supplementary budget of the state governor, is the one devoting its energy to sack a Chief Judge over ridiculous and puerile N5m graft claim. Where does the government derive powers to investigate and punish a Chief Judge? Such powers reside in the National Judicial Council.”

The group added that Adeleke had since his inauguration stopped the salaries of all the statutory boards and appealed to the National Judicial Council to pay adequate attention to the management of the judiciary in Osun.

They also appealed to security operatives to hold Adeleke responsible should anything untoward happen to them or any member of their family.

Chairmen and members of the statutory commissions, namely Osun State Judicial Service Commission; Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Osun State Civil Service Commission and Osun State House of Assembly Service Commission, dissolved on October 30, 2023, had challenged their dissolution at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Ibadan, Oyo State, urging among other reliefs, the court to nullify the dissolution and direct the Osun State government to stop giving further effect to the purported constitution of the new commissions.

When contacted for a response, the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, refrained from commenting.

He simply said, “Since they have approached the court, they should wait for the outcome of the case.” (The PUNCH)

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