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Judge rejects Governor Adeleke’s appointment as acting chief judge

The newly appointed Acting Chief Judge of Osun State Justice David Afolabi, has rejected the offer after the purported suspension of the substantive holder of the office, Justice Adepele Ojo, on Thursday by Governor Ademola Adeleke

Penpushing reports that Afolabi, sources said has communicated his decision not to accept the appointment to the National Judicial Council (NJC), the body statutorily empowered to play the central role in the appointment and discipline of Nigerian judges.

The decision of Afolabi to reject the offer was because the appointment was done by the Governor without National Judicial Council (NJC’s) input as prescribed in the Nigerian constitution and judicial precedents

Lush Arena

Penpushing further reports that the source as at the time of filing this report said Afolabi has communicated his decision not to accept the appointment to the National Judicial Council (NJC), adding that it was a pointer to the failed proposed swearing in of the Acting Chief Judge

The appointed Acting Chief Judge, however, as at the time of filing this report was yet to make his decision whether to take the offer, or has rejected the appointment to the public

Penpushing also reports that it is recalled that Governor Adeleke had suspended the Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo, on Thursday, over allegations of misconduct, abuse of power, corruption and disregard for rule of law levelled against her by the House of Assembly.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rasheed Olawale, in a statement said Adeleke approved the resolution of the House of Assembly passed on 16 November, 2023 asking the Chief Judge to step aside pending investigation of allegations against her.

Penpushing reports that Olawale reproduced the House of Assembly’s resolution in which it was stated that asking  the Chief Judge to step aside was not for any disciplinary action, but to allow for proper investigation of the allegations.

‘The House of Assembly tasked its Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and Legal Matters of the House of Assembly, to investigate the petitions against Mrs Ojo. It asked the committee to invite the chief judge and report to the House within seven days from today (Thursday, 16 November)’, the statement said

Penpushing further reports that the Governor on the same day, through another statement by Olawale, announced the appointment of Afolabi as the Acting Chief Judge, complying with the House of Assembly’s resolution that the next in order of seniority to Justice Adepele Ojo be sworn in immediately to avoid any vacuum in the third arm of government in Osun State.

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