Adeleke makes u-turn, says he didn’t suspend Osun chief judge

Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke has reversed himself, denying the suspension of the State Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Ojo.The Governor stated that he only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly asking the Chief Judge to “step aside” pending the investigation of the allegation of corruption against her.

The spokesperson to the Governor, Olawale Rasheed had in a statement on Thursday disclosed the Governor’s approval to the suspension of the CJ pending investigation of allegation against her. Another statement issued by the spokesperson the same day stated that the Governor has appointed Justice Olayinka Afolabi as acting Chief Judge with a swearing-in for his inauguration following (Friday).

However, the swearing-in ceremony could not hold as both the Deputy Governor, Kola Adewusi, scheduled to oversee the event, and Justice Afolabi did not show up at the Executive Lounge, venue of the programme on Friday.

However, in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi on Sunday, he said the Governor has not even appointed any judicial officer as acting Chief Judge, saying he only recommended the judge to the National Judicial Council, being the most senior in line.

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It reads, “The government of Osun state has denied news reports that Governor Ademola Adeleke has removed the Chief Judge and appointed an acting Chief Judge, clarifying that the Governor had only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly and recommendation for an acting appointment to the Chief Justice of the Federation for decision and action.

“With all sense of responsibility ,it is important to  set the records straight that Governor Adeleke has only duly notified the Chief Justice as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in writing about the  resolutions of the House of Assembly following a series of petitions made against the sitting Chief Judge of Osun State.

“In the communication, Mr Governor intimated the CJN of the recommendation of the House that the Chief Judge should step aside and included his own submission for an acting appointment to fill the vacuum while the NJC reviews and decides on the petition.“To that end, the Governor in the same letter recommended to the CJN ,the appointment of the most senior judicial officer, Hon.Justice Olayinka David Afolabi for thorough consideration and further processing by the same NJC through the CJN.

“We urge the public to note that while the  House of Assembly recommended the appointment of a replacement to the Governor in its resolution, the Governor however, toed the line of law by writing  the CJN on the entire development and submitting all materials for NJC as mandated national agency.

“We therefore wish to state categorically that  Governor Adeleke has not appointed any judicial official as acting Chief Judge and nobody has been sworn in as Acting Chief Judge of Osun state.“Governor Adeleke is a man of due process and rule of law with a deep level of respect for the bar and the bench, the NJC and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.“We assure the public that Mr Governor is fully aware of the limits of his powers as well as the responsibilities of the various agencies of government and will therefore not act in any way to violate the constitution and rule of law”. [Vanguard]

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