••• There is no rift between the executive, judiciary in the state – Osun govt
An Ibadan-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Yomi Aliyu, and the Osun State Government engaged in accusations and counter accusations over alleged request for the retirement of the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Adipele Oyebola Ojo.
The Osun CJ will be due for retirement by October this year, before the amendment of the constitution to harmonise the retirement age for judges, which extended her tenure as the head of the Judiciary.
However, in a statement, Aliyu alleged that the State Head of Service summoned the Secretary, Judicial Service Commission requesting on behalf of the Governor, her retirement letter.
The statement reads: “On June 11, 2023, Osun State Head of service requested for the letter of retirement from the Chief Judge of Osun State from the Secretary to the Osun State Judicial Service Commission notwithstanding the current amendment to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), commanding him to bring it to his office. The HOS said he was acting on Governor Ademola Adeleke’s instructions.
“After the said JSC Secretary had waited in the said HOS office for hours and seeing that people had seen him there the HOS asked the said Secretary to meet him at a road junction in Osogbo and they were seen together by witnesses who alerted the CJ of the ungodly meeting.
“The CJ as the Chairman of Osun JSC summoned the Secretary, JSC to her presence and asked what he was doing in both HOS office and road junction meeting. The Secretary had no choice than to tell the CJ that the HOS said the Governor asked him to go and collect CJ’s letter of retirement from JSC hence his summoning him to his office and Road junction.
“They didn’t know that I was the Jagunmolu of Edeland. Now they didn’t also know that the Constitution has been amended extending terms of judges of superior courts to 70 years.
“Constitutional war is brewing in Osun State. Some judges are bound to meet early retirement if they bow to temptation from the Executive to act in a position that has Constitutional flavor.”
Reacting to the allegation, the State Government, in a statement by the Spokesperson to the Governor, Olawale Rasheed, described Aliyu as a meddlesome interloper, insisting there was no rift between the executive and the judiciary in the state.
The statement reads: “It is not surprising of Mr Aliyu to have cooked up a false story. It is customary of him the same way he did during the Osun governorship election petition. It is unfortunate that a supposed learned senior Lawyer can go that low on the path of propaganda and unnecessary sensation without exercising any iota of decorum and dignity.
“For the sake of clarity, the present administration enjoys a very warm and harmonious relationship with the Judiciary as against the pseudo acrimony being peddled by Mr Aliyu.
“Members of the public need to be informed that there is no controversy on the processes of disengagement, or otherwise, even with respect to the old and new law on the retirement age for judges of superior courts. All insinuations in the hatchet job are false and figments of imagination of the propagandist.
“Mr Aliyu is cautioned on his constant false alarm and his phantom claim of constitutional crisis in Osun when there is none at all. The Judicial Service Commission is an executive body and its staff are appointees and employees of the executive.”
Therefore, it is indecent of Mr Aliyu to unduly meddle in the running of affairs of the government.
“The controversial senior Lawyer is known for propaganda and undue sensation as a member of the All Progressive Congress, APC. He is, therefore, to be ignored and not given any serious attention. He is also warned not to drag our noble Chief Judge into his infamous political agenda. In Osun State, all arms of government are in deep harmony for the good of the state.”