By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo
The All Progressives Congress, APC, Osun State chapter has described the removal of the Chief Judge as vindictive and unconstitutional.
The State Chairman of APC, Tajudeen Lawal stated this on Saturday in a statement issued by the party’s Director of Media and Information, Kola Olabisi.
Lawal said Governor Ademola Adeleke and the state House of Assembly acted beyond their authority by venturing into the illegal suspension of the state Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.
Recall that the swearing-in of the acting Chief Judge scheduled for Friday (yesterday) did not hold.
It was gathered that the Governor who is outside the state, directed his deputy, Prince Kola Odewusi to perform the swearing-in ceremony for the acting Chief Judge but eventually didn’t hold.
The APC helmsman said the removal of the CJ cannot fly as he call on stakeholders in the state to condemn the action.
He said: “If Governor Adeleke and his apparently confused kitchen cabinet members who are thinking for him could not know the danger in inheriting another person’s enemies, by staging a war against the Chief Judge on the discreet directive of a man of yesterday who has an axe to grind with the CJ during his inglorious tenure, they should be ready for the debilitating effects of the backlash of their unpopular and illegal action.
“This is the auspicious time for all the patriots in the state to condemn the humiliation of the judiciary by Governor Adeleke whose actions and inactions in the office in about the last one year have eroded the achievements of his predecessors.”
Justice Ojo had approached the National Industrial Court, Ibadan division over alleged plots to remove her, following which the presiding judge, Justice Dele Peters, granted a restraining order against her removal by Governor Adeleke and three others.
Reacting, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi in a statement yesterday noted that the petition and preliminary actions on the embattled Osun State Chief Judge had been sent to the National Judicial Council (NJC).
He affirmed that Governor Adeleke had not defied any court order, stressing that “the Osun State House of Assembly which confirmed the appointment of Mrs Ojo and asked her to step aside is not a party to any ongoing case or court order.
Alimi said: “It is safe to assert that all that are 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 were appropriated by the State House of Assembly and the body has constitutional right to inquire how the money 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.
“We re-assure the public that appropriate representation has been made to National Judicial Council over the development and we affirm that the Chief Judge was not suspended by the Governor as being mischievously represented by some sections of the media.”
He added that “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”, he stated.