The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has been absolved of any involvement in the sacking of the former Chief Judge of the state, Justice Adepele Ojo.
According to the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Wole Jimi-Bada, Ojo’s dismissal was based on a petition that prompted her to step aside from office.
This was disclosed in a statement released Thursday night by Jimi-Bada.
Bada, who stressed that a strongly worded petition was sent to the State Judicial Service Commission and the State House of Assembly, added that the petition led to the hearing and eventual resolution of the State House of Assembly to ask the Chief Judge to step aside.
“The House further launched an investigation into the allegation contained in the said petition and even summoned the Chief Judge to appear before its investigative committee.
“As part of its investigation, the House passed a resolution recommending that Adeleke should ask Ojo to step aside and appoint an acting Chief Judge pending the outcome of the investigation by both the House of Assembly and the NJC to which the matter has been referred.”
The statement noted that Adeleke approved the recommendation with a caveat that if the Chief Judge is found innocent, she should return to her position.
“Governor Adeleke only acted to ensure that there is no vacuum by appointing an acting Chief Judge as a temporary measure.
“We want to assert that the governor was not the writer of the petition nor is the governor the retinue of persons who provided multiple evidence as regards the conduct of the Chief Judge, as contained in the petition.
“By appointing an acting Chief Judge, the governor only acted to ensure there is no vacuum and there is no tampering with potential evidence while the investigation lasted,” it added.
Adeleke appointed Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of the state with immediate effect, following the approval of the resolution of the House of Assembly.
Frontview africa reported that speculations had been rife of a purported plan to sack Justice Ojo.
In a bid to pressure the state government, the coalition of civil society organizations in the state also revealed that it was aware of the plans.
The Osun CSOs called the attention of the government to the illegality of the action.
In defense of the state government, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, denied the speculations.
However, the state government, in a press statement signed by the spokesperson to the state governor, Olawale Rasheed, said the state government suspended the Chief Judge after a resolution by the State House of Assembly on Thursday.