…….Osun Speaker Replies NBA, Falana and Others
The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adewale Egbedun has responded to the NBA and Mr Femi Falana on the ongoing investigation of the allegations against the Chief Judge of Osun State, Hon. Justice Adepele Oyebola Ojo.
In a statement released on Monday, 20 November 2023, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Olamide Tiamiyu, declared that the Osun State House of Assembly has no intention of encroaching on the constitutional duties of the National Judicial Council. Instead, the Osun State House of Assembly is fulfilling its constitutional duty of exposing corruption as stipulated in Sections 128 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which provides as follows:
“(2) The powers conferred on a House of Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling the House to-
(b) expose corruption, inefficiency of waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.”
Given that the Osun State House of Assembly received several petitions alleging corruption against the Chief Judge of Osun State, the Osun State House of Assembly would have been negligent and in breach of its constitutional responsibilities if it had ignored the petitions.
For the benefit of the public, some of the allegations against the Chief Judge are:
1. Diversion of the funds for the State Judiciary Library.
2. Diversion of the robe allowance of a brother judge of the Osun State High Court which is about #5,000,000 : 00 (Five Million Naira).
3. Indiscriminate suspension of Judicial staff without going through the Judicial Commission and diversion of their salaries.
4. Diversion of revenue due to the Government from filing electronic affidavits through the sole appointment of a consultant by the Chief Judge. In this case, the consultant makes #1000 on an affidavit as against just #250 that is being remitted to the state coffers.
5. Disobedience of a Court judgement that discharged and acquitted a judicial staff of the allegation of embezzling #30,000 typing sheet fund.
6. Diversion of the proceeds that was recovered from the convicted armed robbers of the Ikirun robbery.
The Osun State House of Assembly is aware of the position of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the decisions of the Supreme Court in various cases stating that the Governor of a State and the House of Assembly cannot remove a Chief Judge from office without the participation of the National Judicial Council.
Therefore, we urge commentators to be cautious in their utterances, as they may convey the misconception that the Osun State House of Assembly has removed or intends to remove the Chief Judge of Osun State without the involvement of the National Judicial Council.
It is pertinent to also clarify that the Osun State House of Assembly was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the Chief Judge of Osun State at the National Industrial Court, Ibadan. Moreover, the Osun State House of Assembly has not been served with any injunction related to this lawsuit, so it is false for anyone to insinuate that the House of Assembly acted in contravention of an order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.
Finally, the Osun State House of Assembly wishes to emphasize that it will not be deterred or influenced by the misguided interpretations of its actions. It is important to note that the House is committed to upholding the Constitution and will not abuse its constitutional powers to achieve unconstitutional objectives. The Osun State House of Assembly stands firm in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities and will not succumb to any form of intimidation.
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, OSHA.