The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Adewale Egbedun has justified the suspension of the Chief Judge, CJ, of the state, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Olamide Tiamiyu, on Monday, the Speaker, Adewale Egbedun, declared that the Osun State House of Assembly had no intention of encroaching on the constitutional duties of the National Judicial Council, NJC.
He stated that rather, the Osun State House of Assembly was fulfilling its constitutional duty of exposing corruption as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This is as stipulated in Section 128 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which provides:
“(2) The powers conferred on a House of Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling the House to-
(b) expose corruption, inefficiency of waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.”
Egbedun added, “Given that the Osun State House of Assembly received several petitions alleging corruption against the Chief Judge of Osun State, the Osun State House of Assembly would have been negligent and in breach of its constitutional responsibilities if it had ignored the petitions.
“For the benefit of the public, some of the allegations against the Chief Judge are: 1. Diversion of the funds for the State Judiciary Library.
“2. Diversion of the robe allowance of a brother judge of the Osun State High Court which is about #5,000,000 : 00 (Five Million Naira).
“3. Indiscriminate suspension of Judicial staff without going through the Judicial Commission and diversion of their salaries.
“4. Diversion of revenue due to the Government from filing electronic affidavits through the sole appointment of a consultant by the Chief Judge.
“In this case, the consultant makes #1000 on an affidavit as against just #250 that is being remitted to the state coffers.
“5. Disobedience of a Court judgement that discharged and acquitted a judicial staff of the allegation of embezzling #30,000 typing sheet fund.
“6. Diversion of the proceeds that was recovered from the convicted armed robbers of the Ikirun robbery.”
The NBA on its part insisted that it will not accord respect to the Acting CJ, Justice David Olayinka Afolabi, who incidentally did not turn up for his swearing-in on Friday.
Recall that since the suspension of the Osun CJ, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, prominent personalities, civil society organisations and others have knocked the state government over the move.