Governor Ademola Adeleke’s attempt to suspend Chief Judge Oyebola Ojo of Osun State has been rejected by the National Judicial Council (NJC). Despite Adeleke’s prior suspension of Ojo and the appointment of Olayinka Afolabi as the acting chief judge, the NJC has declined the governor’s request.
On November 16, Adeleke, following the state house of assembly’s resolution, suspended Ojo, ignoring an order from the national industrial court preventing her removal. Subsequently, the state government claimed that Ojo was not suspended, asserting that the governor had only forwarded the assembly’s resolution and acting appointment recommendations to the chief justice of the federation.
During its 104th meeting from December 6 to 7, chaired by Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola, the NJC addressed Adeleke’s request. The council instructed the state government to maintain the status quo, emphasizing that it alone is constitutionally authorized to investigate judicial officers.
Soji Oye, NJC’s director of information, stated, “The Council affirmed that Hon. Justice Ojo is still the recognized Chief Judge of Osun State and would not work on the resolution of a State House of Assembly. Consequently, Osun State should revert to the status quo.”
Furthermore, the NJC recommended the compulsory retirement of Judge S. O. Falola from the Osun state high court. The council found Falola guilty of issuing a garnishee order absolute against Polaris bank for N283,174,000 in a questionable manner and deemed his visit to the bank’s counsel in Lagos unbecoming of a judicial officer. As a result, the NJC resolved to recommend Falola’s immediate compulsory retirement to Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.
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