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Osun Judicial Staff Protest Against CJ as Lawyer Disagrees with Legislators Over Corruption Allegation

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Osun State branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), on Monday protested against the Chief Judge, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo, for alleged corruption.

The protesters who carried placards at the state high court, Okefia, Osogbo, were led by the state chairman, Gbenga Eludire, who denied being sponsored by anybody.

Eludire said, “The issue of wardrobe allowance started in 2021 till date. We adopted several approaches in resolving the issue amicably but we realize that we can’t endure things any longer and that is why we are crying out now.

“Can demand of workers be sponsored by anybody? We work here, we are not slaves, we have the right to speak out and to make demands for all that has been approved by the government for us. We have not been sponsored. I am not aware that the CJ was suspended and it is not even part of our concern, it is between the executive and the judiciary,” Eludire said.

Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly and the counsel to Justice Adepele-Ojo, Oladipo Olasope SAN, disagreed over allegations of corruption leveled against the CJ and her purported suspension.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Olawale Egbedun, through his Press Secretary, Olamide Tiamiyu stated that the house is exposing corruption as stipulated in Sections 128 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He alleged that the CJ diverted funds for the state judiciary library, allowance of staff worth N5m, suspended judicial staff indiscriminately and diverted their salary, appointed a consultant, and diverted the proceeds recovered from the convicted armed robbers of the Ikirun robbery.

“The Osun State House of Assembly is aware of the position of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the decisions of the Supreme Court in various cases stating that the Governor of a State and the House of Assembly cannot remove a Chief Judge from office without the participation of the National Judicial Council.

“Therefore, we urge commentators to be cautious in their utterances, as they may convey the misconception that the Osun State House of Assembly has removed or intends to remove the Chief Judge of Osun State without the involvement of the National Judicial Council.”

However, CJ through her counsel, Olasope SAN berated the allegations of the Assembly, saying, “They are putting the cart before the horse with their approaches.

“Who are they to be querying the CJ? Disciplining the CJ does not lie with the Osun State House of Assembly; Section 292 of the Constitution is very clear. It is the NJC that can discipline a CJ, not the House of Assembly. So, all those allegations are figments of their imagination.

“They have to say something to justify their position and that is what they choose to say. The issue now is that they have come to court and employed the service of a lawyer who has collected service of processes on their behalf this morning in court. That is the point at which we are. So, the case has now been adjourned till the 4th of December. So, we will see how it goes from there.

“They employed just one lawyer, Musftau Adetunbi. They are putting the cart before the horse. After you asked the woman to step aside, you are now bringing up charges and allegations. Why not bring the allegations first, try her, if you find her guilty, then send it to the NJC and the NJC will now decide,” Olasope said.

 The Sun

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