February 28, 2024

Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has set up a committee to resolve the industrial dispute that has led to closure of courts in the State.

The judiciary staff union has been on a prolonged strike since November last year over a dispute with the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adepele Ojo. The action has led to criticism as many believed the executive is behind the strike.

In the latest move, Adeleke in a statement by Olawale Rasheed, his Spokesperson said he’s worried by the continuous closure of courts in the State, adding that the matter is almost becoming an emergency.

Governor Adeleke said he is setting up the committee with a direct mandate to get this dispute resolved whatever it will take, noting that his action is to restore normalcy and not to interfere in the judicial arm of government.

“ We are being careful all along not to be accused of meddling in judicial matters. But it is now almost an emergency. We must get the issues ironed out.

“ I told the national leadership of JUSUN to mediate. I am also reaching out to the Attorney General and the Chief Justice. We need to get our courts running for regular dispensation of justice”, the Governor was quoted as saying.

APC lambasts Governor

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress has cautioned Governor Ademola Adeleke to desist from treating ringworm when it’s obvious to all and sundry that his administration is being plagued by leprosy which amounts to self-destruction.

The APC said the position of Ebunoluwa Adegoruwa, SAN, who had in a piece called for State of emergency, is the true representation of the state of things in Osun judiciary.

“The intendment of the framers of the constitution with the provision of Section 4(8) is that there shall be no dictatorship of any kind in governance. Laws made by the legislature must always be subject to the jurisdiction of the court, so too (are) the actions of the executive.

“It is apparent that this is not the case in Osun State today because of the strike embarked upon by the judicial workers over the tenure of office of the Chief Judge of the state. If anyone is arrested in Osun State today, he stands to remain in custody, whether such arrest is lawful or not.

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“The executive arm of the government in Osun State is running riot, ruling without the judicial arm when it is trite in law that no government should be allowed to function without the courts as that will encourage lawlessness and dictatorship.

“The House of Assembly in Osun State cannot also exist without the judicial arm of the government as laws being enacted must be subject to the interpretation of the court.

“I have wondered how Governor Adeleke was able to present the 2024 budget estimate to the House of Assembly without the input of the Judiciary of Osun State, the Chief Judge being the Chief executive of that indispensable arm of government.

“Can a state purport to have an Appropriation Bill that does not reflect the estimates of the judiciary?If the judiciary in Osun State will not be allowed to function for whatever reason, then the remaining two arms of government have no justification to continue to remain in the office for the exercise of illegal actions.

“By the Public Officers Protection Law of Osun State, for instance, certain actions can only be challenged within three months of their occurrence otherwise, the cause of action becomes statute barred.

“The strike action by the Osun State judicial workers has lasted well over three months now, thereby rendering certain actions of the government beyond judicial inquiry which is unacceptable.

“The true interpretation of Section 4(8) of the nation’s Constitution is that it is illegal for there to be a governor or Speaker of the House of Assembly in any state where there is no judiciary or where the judiciary is not allowed to exercise its statutory functions of interrogating the actions, laws and policies of the other arms of government,” the legal luminary had submitted.

Corroborating his position, the APC chairman said: “I do not see how Governor Adeleke can continue and govern Osun State effectively and legally without the courts of law established for the state by the constitution. It is an aberration that must not be allowed to fester because what is left is anarchy and lawlessness”.

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