The suspension of Oyebola Adepele Ojo, the chief judge of Osun State, due to baseless accusations, has been deemed unlawful by the Allied Peoples Movement, or APM.
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 said despite an order of the National Industrial Court restraining Governor Ademola Adeleke from interfering with the judiciary, he approved her suspension from office.
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) Chairman, Adebayo, clarified that the Governors of the States and the Houses of Assembly of the States are prohibited by the Constitution from exercising disciplinary authority over the removal of State Chief Judges or other judicial officers.
“We perceive the governor’s action as yet another manifestation of his intolerance towards democratic institutions, the separation of powers, and the constitutionally guaranteed checks and balances.”
“A government with even the worst legal counsel ought to be aware that you do not wake up with the intention of causing harm, indignation, or coercion to declare that you have suspended or approved a resolution to remove the CJ as though it were a non-essential endeavour.”
The statement stated, “The party vowed to use legitimate means, including, demonstrations, petitions, and litigations to protect the sacred institution of the judiciary.”
The National Judicial Council, NJC, has received the petition and preliminary measures against the Osun State Chief Judge, according to information released by the state government.
The state administration acknowledged that there was a leadership problem in the Osun State Judiciary, even though it maintained that Governor Adeleke had not disobeyed any court orders.
The state government disclosed this information on Friday in a statement signed by Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Kolapo Alimi. It stated that the Osun State House of Assembly, which verified Mrs. Adepele Ojo’s appointment and requested her resignation, is not involved in any ongoing legal proceedings or court orders.
Since the government is currently unaware of any active cases, it is safe to assume that anything being put online is just a publicity gimmick.
We also want to draw the public’s attention to the fact that the State House of Assembly authorised the money that is the subject of the enquiry, and that body is entitled by the Constitution to know how the money was applied.
“The Osun State Government employs the OSHA-mandated Osun State Judiciary staff, who are being denied their rights by the Chief Judge and some of whom participated in the petition.”
The administration maintained that the Chief Judge was not suspended by the Governor, even as it reassured the public that NJC had received sufficient counsel about the development.
The statement reads, “Instead, the State Assembly urged the Chief Judge to resign on the grounds that an official cannot hold office while the enquiry is continuing. Only the House’s resolution was implemented by the Governor.
As required by the Constitution under such circumstances, the Governor appointed an Acting Chief Judge to make sure there is no vacancy.
“Therefore, the State Assembly bears the responsibility of notifying the public, NJC, and the Governor of its conclusions regarding the investigation’s end and formulating decisions regarding the subsequent course of action.”
Alimi declared that the state government will respond appropriately if the individuals named as Defendants in the purported lawsuit received court orders.