The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has berated the Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, over the suspension of the state Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, despite the recommendation of the House of Assembly.
Naija News reports that there is presently a vacuum in the Osun Judiciary following the failure to swear in Justice Yinka Afolabi as the Acting CJ on Friday in line with Governor Adeleke’s directive.
This comes as Justice Afolabi reportedly failed to avail himself for the swearing-in.
Prior to Ojo’s removal, the National Industrial Court in Ibadan, Oyo State, had barred the Osun state government from removing her as Chief Judge.
Speaking through its spokesperson, Barrister Akorede Habeeb Lawal, the NBA vowed not to recognize Justice Afolabi if eventually sworn in as the Acting CJ.
The association insisted that Adeleke’s refusal to recognise the interim court order can be regarded as abuse of power and desecration of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
NBA warned that it would take all necessary steps to ensure that Adeleke’s abuse of office does not stand.
Korede said, “In very vivid terms, the actions of Governor Adeleke and the Osun State House of Assembly are unwarranted assault on the Judiciary and aimed at intimidation.
“The NBA wishes to categorically state that the provisions of the 1999 Constitution are not ambiguous as to the way and manner a Chief Judge of a State could be removed from office. Certainly, a State House of Assembly resolution for a Chief Judge to “step aside” is unknown to the law of our land.
“The NBA is further worried and troubled that in going about its unlawful endeavour, the Osun State Government chose to ignore the lawful order of interim injunction granted by the National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan, which restrained the Governor of Osun State from interfering with the office of the Chief Judge of Osun State.
“The tenure of a judicial officer can not and should not be subject to the mood of politicians. To this extent, the NBA and its members shall not recognise Hon. Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of Osun State, because the provisions of the law must be complied with strictly, in the removal of, and/or appointment of the Chief Judge of Osun State.
“The NBA shall take all necessary steps to ensure this impunity and brazen abuse of office does not stand!”