NJC Rejects Call To Sack Osun Chief Judge Despite Gov. Adeleke’s Petition

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
4 Min Read

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has denied Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke’s plea to suspend the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the NJC’s Director of Information, Adesoji Oye, the council stated that it will not cooperate with the decision of the state House of Assembly that established a panel to investigate the Chief Judge.

Oye said, “The council considered and declined the request of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State requesting its permission to swear in the next most senior judge in the state in an acting capacity, following allegations levelled against Honourable Justice Adepele Ojo, Chief Judge, Osun State, and the resolution of the state House of Assembly to suspend her.

“The council affirmed that Honourable Justice Ojo is still the recognised Chief Judge of Osun State and would not work on the resolution of a state House of Assembly.”

The NJC spokesman also said the council dismissed the petitions against the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaete Obot; Justice Benson Anya of the High Court of Abia State; Justice Z. B. Abubakar of the Federal High Court; Justice Opufaa Ben-Whyte; and Augusta Uche Chuku of the High Court of Rivers State.

The NJC rejected the petitions against them because they were unjustified.

“However, Honourable Justice A. I. Akobi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory is to be issued a letter of guidance to take proper charge and control of his court,“ the statement added.

Meanwhile, the NJC recommended that Osun State High Court Judge S. O. Falola be forced to resign.

According to the NJC, he was found guilty of granting a garnishee order absolute against Polaris Bank in a problematic way for the sum of N283,174,000.00.

Oye said, “The National Judicial Council, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON, at its 104th Meeting of 6 and 7 December 2023, has recommended the compulsory retirement of Honourable Justice S. O. Falola of the Osun State High Court from the bench.

“The recommendation was made sequel to the findings of an investigation committee in a petition written against His Lordship by Mr. Dapo Kolapo Olowo and Polaris Bank for granting a garnishee order absolute against the bank for the sum of N283,174,000.00 in a questionable and strange manner, and endorsement of the order, attaching the account of the garnishee with another garnishee and not the account of the judgement debtor, who had the legal obligation to pay the supposed judgement sum.

“It further found the conduct of the subject judge, travelling to Lagos to visit the counsel for the bank in his chambers on the issue of garnishee proceedings, unbecoming of the standard expected of a judicial officer.”

The NJC spokesperson stated that the council has recommended to Governor Adeleke that Justice Falola be forced to retire with immediate effect.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.