The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Adewale Egbedun, says the assembly has no intention to encroach on the powers of the National Judicial Council (NJC) by the suspension of the state’s Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo.
Egbedun, in a statement by his media aide, Olamide Tiamiyu, on Monday in Osogbo, the state capital, said the assembly was only performing its constitutional duties.
The assembly had on 16 November, passed a resolution for the suspension of the Chief Judge (CJ) over alleged corruption, abuse of powers, among others.
The assembly, carefully avoiding the use of the word “suspend”, rather asked the Chief Judge to “step aside.”
But the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has argued that neither the governor nor the House of Assembly has the power to suspend a Chief Judge without the input of the NJC either in the form of “step aside” or under any other guise.
Egbedun, during an emergency plenary on Monday, said the suspension was based on series of petitions received by the assembly against the CJ.
He said the petitions accused the Chief Judge of corruption, gross misconduct and abuse of office.
The assembly also advised the governor to appoint the next most senior judge in the state as the acting CJ.
On the same day, Governor Ademola Adeleke, in a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, approved the suspension of the CJ.
The governor also announced the appointment of David Afolabi as the acting CJ with immediate effect.
But Afolabi rejected the appointment as it did not follow the due process, which should involve an input of the NJC.
However, in another statement on Sunday, the state government said the governor had neither removed the CJ nor appointed anyone in acting capacity.
The statement by Kolapo Alimi, the commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, said the governor had only forwarded the resolution of the assembly and recommendations for an acting appointment to the Chief Justice of the Federation for his action.
The Speaker, however, said on Monday that the assembly was fulfilling its constitutional duty of exposing corruption as stipulated in sections 128 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Mr Egbedun said that that the assembly received several petitions against the Chief Judge.
He said that the assembly would have been negligent and in breach of its constitutional responsibilities, if it had ignored the petitions.
Allegations against Chief Judge
According to him, some of the allegations against the CJ include diversion of the funds for the state’s judiciary library, and diversion of the robe allowance of other judges of the state High Court, amounting to N5 million.
The Speaker also said that the CJ was accused of indiscriminate suspension of judicial staff members without going through the Judicial Service Commission and diversion of their salaries.
He said the CJ was also accused of diversion of revenue due to the government from electronic affidavits through the sole appointment of a consultant.
“In this case, the consultant makes N1,000 on an affidavit as against just N250 that is being remitted to the state coffers,” he said.
Egbedun said the assembly was aware of the position of the Nigerian Constitution and the decisions of the Supreme Court in various similar cases.
He said that the governor and the assembly could not remove a Chief Judge from office without the participation of the National Judicial Council.
The speaker urged commentators to be cautious in their utterances, as they might convey the misconception that the assembly had removed or intended to remove the CJ without the involvement of the National Judicial Council.
Egbedun also said that the assembly was not in anyway listed as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the CJ at the National Industrial Court, Ibadan.
Knocks as Lagos church invites Portable, Pasuma to praise night
A branch of the Celestial Church of Christ in Lagos is facing criticism following the announcement of its praise night event featuring Pasuma, a Fuji singer, and the controversial musician, Portable.
The event flyer, shared on the church’s Facebook page on November 29, 2023, prompted an outcry from numerous users.
Scheduled for December 15, the event drew shock from multiple Facebook users who condemned the church for inviting secular artistes to a praise night.
The church’s post reads: “JOIN US ON 15th OF DEC, 2023”
“As We Celebrate our 7th-year Anniversary on Our ANKARA / PRAISE NIGHT.
“Performing: ALHAJI WASIU ALABI PASUMA a.k.a Oganla,’ ‘HABEEB OLALOMI a.k.a Portable,’ ‘MAY-SHUA,’ ‘EVANG. SUNDAY GP a.k.a De Governor.”
Expressing disappointment, Bolanle Bamidele Adewuyi commented, “This is disheartening… Is this what you turn the Church of God to? It’s hilarious.”
Edafe Oghenebrume labeled the move as sacrilegious, expressing dismay and questioning the spiritual direction of the church leaders and congregation.
“This is a sacrilege in the Celestial Church of Christ. It is disheartening, pathetic, shameful and disgraceful. I wonder about the spiritual orientation of your Shepherd-In-Charge and the congregation.”
Festus Olanrewaji Ojo criticized the decision, emphasizing, “This is a shame! Shame and a very big shame.”
Becky Wunmi Hassan Ayoade expressed concern about the direction of the church, stating, “There is nothing they will not turn celestial church to”.
Ayo Ife humorously remarked, “The artists are not complete yet. Una for kuku add Naira Marley So that the soul winning can complete! Eku ishe oluwa sir.”
However, amidst the criticism, some users expressed eagerness to attend.
Abike Ade affirmed, “I’ll definitely be there.”
Meanwhile, Abike Garment commented, “I must be there make I come dance away my sorrow.”
Kogi guber poll: I won’t challenge election result at tribunal — Dino Melaye
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just concluded Kogi State Governorship election, Senator Dino Melaye has announced his decision not to seek legal redress following his electoral loss.
Melaye, who made his decision known at a media briefing in Abuja, on Wednesday, said his decision was hinged on the fact that the judiciary has allegedly become an arm of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to him, it is now public knowledge that the judiciary under the current administration has become the “lost hope” instead of the “last hope” of the common man.
Melaye noted that it was a shame that the judiciary watched helplessly as members of the ruling party boasted of their control over the judiciary during campaigns.
Family dissociates Adedoyin from Osun govt, chief justice face-off
The family of Rahman Adedoyin has, for the umpteenth time, dissociated their patriarch, Rahman Adedoyin from the ongoing face-off between the government , Osun judiciary workers and Chief Justice, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo.
In statement titled, “RE: OSUN CJ REMOVAL: DO NOT USE DR. RAHMAN ADEDOYIN’S CASE AS AN EXCUSE OR DEFENCE AGAINST CORRUPT ALLEGATIONS,” signed by the Director, Media & Publicity of Adedoyin Conglomerate,
Dr Kunle Awojoodu on behalf of the family, condemns what it called as attempt to drag Adedoyin into lingering face-off between the state government and chief judge, Hon Justice O.A. Ojo.
The statement reads: “Attention of the family of Dr Rahman Adedoyin has been drawn to various write ups in various media: social and print by some faceless people trying to drag Dr Adedoyin into the face-off between the Chief Judge of Osun, Hon Justice O.A. Ojo , and the Osun State Government as well as the Osun Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.
“It is highly disheartening that some elements within the society could, simply, for selfish and face saving reasons, descend so low to the abyss of pedestrianism alleging that it is because of Dr Adedoyin’s case that Governor Adeleke of Osun State is pitched against the CJ and, at the same time, being called to account by the Osun State law makers, when the allegations laid against the CJ before the Osun State House of Assembly contain nothing as such.
“It indubitably smacks of unwarranted malice and sheer hypocrisy that anyone could level this type of mischievous allegation against Dr Adedoyin, (a renowned educationist, a business mogul and one of the major employers of labour in Osun State) who has never been a politician, has no nexus with politics or sought any political contract whatsoever, in their attempt to curry undue public advantage/sympathy or circumvent unavertable responsibilities.
“We, as the family, believe in the rule of law and due process of the law and has never, at any point in time, approached any individual, group of persons, traditional rulers, politicians or anyone at all to subvert the cause of justice. We strongly believe that the impartial court would eventually do justice in the case.
“Unfortunately, our hope was dashed when our patriarch, Dr Ramon Adedoyin was convicted and hurriedly condemned in spite of absence or non existent of an iota of evidence linking him either to the hurriedly and belatedly added charge of murder or any of the earlier charges whatsoever.
“As law abiding citizens, we decided to choose the path of legality and constitutionality by seeking true justice at the appellate Court.
” It is therefore illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional for anyone to link the current imbroglio vis a vis the State Government, the protesting staff of the State Judiciary and the embattled CJ, Hon Justice Ojo Adepele to a case that is still pending at appeal, in order to score cheap political points or personal propaganda.’
The family said Dr Adedoyin does not know and has never met the Governor of Osun State.
It stated further, “Nevertheless, for our family decorum and maturity, we reserve our comments on the demands of one Aliyu and a Yoruba Monarch about Justice Adepele Ojo’s circumstantial evidence by which she hurriedly pronounced the guilt of Dr.Adedoyin without required pieces of evidence.
“Without mincing words, the family strongly dissociates itself from unfounded rumours being peddled and negatively marketed, as usual, to this horrible effect.”
Adedoyin’s family, however, vehemently advised those who take delight in stoking fire in the crisis in the State, especially within the media, to leave Dr Adedoyin and his family alone and “rather explore possibility of a defence via due process of the law. It must be sounded as a point of warning that resorting to cheap blackmail or any pretentious linkage with our family or any member thereof will amount to an ill wind that will legally blow them no good,” the statement said.
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