Details of the letter written by Osun State House of Assembly to Governor Ademola Adeleke on the on the findings on the House committee set up yo investigate the embattled Osun Chief, Justice Oyebola Adepele-Ojo.
A document sighted by Osun Spring dated 24th November, 2023 signed by the Speaker, Rt. Hon Adewale Egbedun and addressed to the Governor revealed that the petitions against the Chief Judge was from members of the Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and some Civil Society Organisations.
The document also stated that that any Organisation that is interested in having the findings of the committee, reports, and the said petitions is free to apply for certified true copies of the reports including all the documents obtained in the course of the Committee’s sittings.
“The letter reads “Pursuant to series of petitions received against the Honourable Chief Judge of Osun State (Hon. Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo), from members of His Lordship’s staff, Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and some Civil Society Organisations, the House, being fully conscious of the provision of the law that the House and the Executive Governor of the State cannot initiate any form of disciplinary action against the Honourable Chief Judge, without the input of the National Judicial Council, resolved to embark on a fact-finding proceeding, and upon conclusion of the fact-finding proceeding and adoption of the report submitted by the Fact-finding Committee, the House hereby resolved as follows:
“That in view of the fact that neither the House nor the Executive Governor can exercise any form of disciplinary action against the Honourable Chief Judge, without the input of National Judicial Council (NJC), this House should advise and hereby advise that all the Petitioners should channel their petitions to the NJC which is the supreme authority over all judicial officers in terms of discipline and control.
“That the Executive Governor of Our State being the Chief Executive and the father of all should with immediate effect ensure that the perpetual economic torture being experienced by the said 5 staff of High Court be brought to an end now. Thus, as a measure to rehabilitate them economically, the Governor is to ensure that each and every one of them begins to receive his or her salary as from this November, 2023 even if it requires that the State Government will immediately transfer their services from High Court to Customary Court of Appeal or any other Agency of the Government in order to bring this economic torture to an immediate end.
“In addition to (resolution 2 above) and in view of the fact that the salaries of three out of the 5 staff have been diverted for 57 months and the remaining 2 staff for 46 months at the instance of the Hon. Chief Judge, the House urges the Governor with immediate effect to assist these 5 staff by directing the payment of all or part of their salaries for the concerned months, pending the conclusion of the investigation of the NJC.
“That this House which uncovered all these facts should equally cause the Honourable Speaker to write a Petition to NJC on all the misconducts of the Honourable Chief Judge.
“That in view of the facts that some Associations and purported Civil Organisations are deliberately playing politics with this grave matter; this Honourable House has specifically resolved that any Organisation that is interested in having its findings, reports and the said petitions is free to apply for certified true copies of the reports including all the documents obtained in the course of the Committee’s sittings.
“That the Osun State House of Assembly as an organ of Government saddled with legislative and oversight responsibilities as contained in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered) shall continue to perform its functions especially as it relates to Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and some Civil Society Organisations, corruption in any institution of government, by any person or authority without fear or favour;
“That the State Government should with immediate effect stop the consultant in charge of e-affidavit at the State High Court, and take further steps to see that all revenues being generated in respect of e-affidavit go directly to the account of the State Government.
“That in view of the fact that an effective Library is vital to effective administration of justice and in view of the fact that Honourable Chief Judge has abandoned purchase of law reports/books (except newspapers) into the Library since 2015 notwithstanding that the State Government is making available the sum of #1m for the purchase of books in the High Court monthly running cost, the State Government is hereby advised to immediately take steps to stock the Library and upgrade its facilities pending the investigation, by the National Judicial Council, of the allegation of diversion of Library funds by the Honourable Chief Judge.
“That in view of the finding of fact that the Honourable Chief Judge is not expending the four million naira monthly security cost being provided by the State Government on the security of the High court, the House advised that the State Government should suspend forthwith the payment of the said sum of #4m as monthly security cost to the High Court pending the conclusion of investigation by the National Judicial Council. However, the State Government shall do everything within its powers to provide adequate security for the High Court in the State.
“That the sum of #3.6m monthly which the High Court of Justice under the watch of the Chief Judge is collecting for uniforms and clothing is obviously not being expended on any uniforms and clothing, hence, the State Government is hereby advised to suspend it forthwith pending the conclusion of investigation by the National Judicial Council.
“Attached herewith are the certified true copy of both the report of the House committee that conducted investigation on the series of petitions received against honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo and the House Resolution in this regard for onward transmission to the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC) for further action.
“Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of the esteemed regards and best wishes of the honourable House.”