The Allied Peoples Movement, APM, in Osun State has described as unconstitutional the suspension of the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo over trumped-up allegations.
The Osun APM also described the action as a nullity, which has no basis in law.
The state chairman of the party, Wale Adebayo, stated this during a media parley in Osogbo, Osun State capital on Friday.
Adebayo, who doubles as the Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, explained that by provisions of the constitution, the Governors of the States and the Houses of Assembly of the states, cannot exercise disciplinary control touching the removal of Chief Judges of States or other judicial officers in the States.
“We view the governor’s action as another instance of his intolerance of democratic institutions, separation of power and checks and balances guaranteed by the constitution”
“A government with even the most inferior of legal advice should know that you do not wake up, triggered either malice or anger or inducement, to announce that you have suspended or passed a resolution to remove the CJ as if it’s some casual enterprise”
“The party vowed to use legitimate means, including, petitions, demonstrations and litigations to protect the sacred institution of the judiciary,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the state government has revealed that the petition and preliminary actions on the Osun State Chief Judge have been sent to the National Judicial Council, NJC.
While affirming that Governor Adeleke has not defied any court order, the state government confirmed that there was a leadership issue within the Osun State Judiciary.
Making this revelation on Friday in a statement signed by Kolapo Alimi, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, the state government revealed that the Osun State House of Assembly which confirmed the appointment of Mrs Adepele Ojo and asked her to step aside is not a party to any ongoing case or Court Order.
“It is safe to assert that all that is 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 was appropriated by the State House of Assembly and the body has a constitutional right to inquire how money it 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.”
While reassuring the public that appropriate representation has been made to NJC, over the development, the government affirmed that the Chief Judge was not suspended by the Governor.
According to the statement, “Rather, it is the State Assembly on the premise that an official cannot be on the seat whilst the investigation is ongoing, that asked the Chief Judge to step aside. 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.”
Alimi stated that when the court processes are served on the persons listed as Defendants in the alleged suit, the state government would take appropriate steps to react.