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Osun: Rights group raises alarm over Tinubu’s plot to foist Judge on Appeal panel

A Civil Rights group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) on Saturday raised an alarm over the alleged involvement of the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and the ruling party in the composition of the Appeal Court Panel Judges.

The composition of the panel, according the group, has led to the inclusion of Justice Joseph Olubunmi Kolawole Oyewole, who is former interim chairman of APC, Bisi Akande’s godson as a member of the panel.

The group said it was reliably informed by the sources close to the Office of the Court of Appeal President that the leadership of the ruling party (APC) were consulted before the composition of the current Appeal Tribunal Panel on 2018
Osun governorship election.

It said that the ruling party was not comfortable with the landmark majority judgment of the Lower Tribunal that declared opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate, Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke  as the winner of the September 22nd, 2018 guber election in the State.

To show its grouse over the action, CHRSJ wrote a Petition Letter dated 18th of  April, 2018 and forwarded to the Court of Appeal President which is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of constituting the Governorship Election Appeal Panel over alleged inclusion of Justice JOK Oyewole in the panel.

It also copied the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives, National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) and International communities for their urgent and necessary action on the subject matter.

According to the signed Petition Letter by the CHRSJ’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman and also contained in a Press Statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, demanded the outright removal of Justice Oyewole from the Panel.

The Petition Letter read thus; “We have it on good authority that Hon. Justice JOK Oyewole is one of the Justices to be appointed by your good self to serve in the Appeal Tribunal of the 2018 Osun overnorship Election Petition.

“It is our belief that anybody that would serve in such exalted position in the temple of justice must be above board in all ramifications which the said Hon. Justice Oyewole could not be categorized as one of such jurists in the panel.

“It is to inform your good self that Justice JOK Oyewole is a benefactor of the appellants in the said Election Petition and it would be difficult for Justice Oyewole to dispense justice without bias.

“CHRSJ also wishes to inform you good authority that Mr. Gboyega Oyetola who is the 2nd Respondents (now appellants) in the Governorship Election Petition is a Nephew of APC National Leader, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the then Chief of Staff in immediate past Rauf Aregbesola’s government.

“Going by the history and Oyewole’s background, Mr. Justice Oyewole is a native of Ila Orangun in Ila Local Government area of Osun State but
began his( Justice Oyewole) Law Practice in Lagos State as a pupil Lawyer where the Asiwaju of Ila Orangun and Former Acting Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande introduced him (Justice Oyewole) to the then Governor of Lagos State(now APC National Leader), Senator Bola Ahmed
Tinubu where Oyewole was nominated as Magistrate in Lagos State and later elevated to become the Lagos State Judge through recommendation to the National Judicial Council (NJC) by the Lagos State government.

“More so, the immediate past Osun State government which the Appellant (Mr. Gboyega Oyetola) serve as Chief of Staff planned to nominate Justice JOK Oyewole through the State Judicial Service Commission to be the Chief Judge of Osun State while he was a Judge in the Lagos State Judiciary.

“We rose up to forestall their judicial selfish agenda then and even, the Osun State Judges signed a memo to the NJC against this act and it was the effort of the courageous Chairman of NJC and the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Aloma Muktar that rightly refused to accept the nomination by insisting that the most Senior in Osun bench should be recommended”.

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