Assembly denies sacking Osun CJ, accuses her of graft, counsel dismisses claims
•Judicial workers protest, allege persecution
Osun State House of Assembly, yesterday, denied sacking Chief Judge Oyebola Adepele-Ojo, insisting that it only exposed alleged corruption in the judiciary under her watch.
Reacting to the harsh criticisms the parliament received from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana following its “step aside” declaration against the CJ, the Assembly Speaker, Adewale Egbedun, maintained that there was no intention of encroaching on the constitutional duties of the National Judicial Council, adding: “Instead, the Osun State House of Assembly is fulfilling its constitutional duty of exposing corruption as stipulated in Sections 128 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olamide Tiamiyu, the Speaker stated: “Given that the Osun State House of Assembly received several petitions alleging corruption against the Chief Judge of Osun State, the Osun State House of Assembly would have been negligent and in breach of its constitutional responsibilities if it had ignored the petitions.
“For the benefit of the public, some of the allegations against the Chief Judge are: Diversion of the funds for the State Judiciary Library; diversion of the robe allowance of a brother judge of the Osun State High Court, which is about N5, 000,000; indiscriminate suspension of judicial staff without going through the Judicial Commission and diversion of their salaries.
“Diversion of revenue due to the government from filing electronic affidavits through the sole appointment of a consultant by the Chief Judge. In this case, the consultant makes N1, 000 on an affidavit as against just N250 that is being remitted to the state coffers; disobedience of a court judgment that discharged and acquitted a judicial staff of the allegation of embezzling N30,000 typing sheet fund; Diversion of the proceeds that were recovered from the convicted armed robbers of the Ikirun robbery.”
Meanwhile, members of the state chapter of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in the state locked the entrance to the Osun State High Court in Osogbo in protest against the CJ, accusing her of persecution.
Led by their Chairman, Oluwagbemiga Olakunle Eludire, the placards-carrying protesters prevented movement into the premises, which houses the office of the embattled CJ.
Reacting, counsel to the Chief Judge, Oladipo Olasope (SAN), described the allegations made by the House and the judicial workers as figments of their imagination.
He said the suit before the Nigeria Industrial Court in Ibadan has been adjourned till December 4, explaining that a lawyer, Muftau Adetunbi, appeared for Governor Ademola Adeleke and the House of Assembly when the matter was mentioned yesterday.
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