Adeleke never removed CJ or appointed anyone in acting capacity – Osun govt.

Osun Government has said Governor Ademola Adeleke has neither removed the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, nor appointed anyone in an acting capacity.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mr Kolapo Alimi, on Sunday in Osogbo.

Alimi said that the governor had only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly and recommendations for an acting appointment to the Chief Justice of the Federation for his action.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the governor had, on Thursday, announced the appointment of Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting chief judge of the state with immediate effect.

Olayinka’s appointment followed last Thursday’s approval by the governor of the resolution of the assembly for the suspension of the chief judge over allegations of misconduct.

NAN also reports that Ojo was asked to step aside pending the conclusion of the investigation of the allegations of misconduct, abuse of power, corruption and disregard for rule of law levelled against her by the assembly.

Adeleke, in a statement by his Spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, on Thursday had directed his deputy, Kola Adewusi, to perform the swearing-in of the acting chief judge on Friday.

NAN reports that the swearing-in did not, however, hold.

The commissioner said that the governor had duly notified the Chief Justice of the Federation as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in writing about the resolutions of the house of assembly, following series of petitions against Ojo.

“In the communication, Mr Governor intimated the CJN of the recommendation of the assembly that the chief judge should step aside.

“And he 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 Gov. Adeleke has not appointed any judicial official as acting Chief Judge and nobody has been sworn-in as acting Chief Judge of Osun State,” he said.

Alimi described Adeleke as 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.

He assured the public that Adeleke was fully aware of the limit of his powers as well as the responsibilities of the various agencies of government and would, therefore, not act, in any way, to violate the constitution and the rule of law. (NAN)