Civil societies tackle Adeleke, Assembly over alleged plot to remove Osun CJ

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  • Governor denies rift with Ooni, clears air on ‘handshake dodge’ controversy

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

A coalition of civil society organisations in Osun State has accused the state governor, Ademola Adeleke and the state House of Assembly of plans to remove the state Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.

The coalition, including the Transparency and Accountability Group, Committee for Defence of Human Rights, Dialogue 360 and the Osun Civil Society Coalition, while addressing a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday, further accused the executive arm of government and legislature of interfering with the system of the judiciary.

A statement jointly signed by representatives of the groups Ayodeji Ologun (TAG), Emmanuel Olowu (CDHR), Ismaheel Adedokun (Dialogue 360) and Wole Folaranmi (OSCSC), said schemes to oust Ojo “appears to be a reprisal against the Chief Judge for her principled stand against attempts to manipulate the judiciary in the state.”

“The coalition of civil society groups committed to upholding the principles of justice, transparency, and the rule of law, strongly condemns the recent attempt by the Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, to illegally remove the Chief Judge of Osun State, Honorable Justice Adebola Adepele Ojo. This move is particularly troubling as it appears to be a reprisal against the Chief Judge for her principled stand against attempts to manipulate the judiciary in the state.

“We hereby call on Governor Ademola Adeleke to respect the independence of the judiciary and immediately cease any attempts to remove the Chief Judge based on her principled stance. The judiciary must be allowed to operate without fear of reprisal or political interference, ensuring that justice is served impartially and without bias,” it stated.

Meanwhile, the state government said it was unaware of any plot against the state Chief Judge, even as it affirmed its commitment to due process and stipulated regulations across the arms of government.

“The State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke and his team are preoccupied with delivering on good governance to the citizenry with no time for diversionary conducts.

“The government also wishes to state that the constitution and the state laws clearly spell out responsibilities of state officials. The same laws lay out rules for accountability and transparency across government sectors. The Governor and all government officials whether elected or appointed into any arm of government are not immune from the accountability process.

“The Governor is therefore not in a position to stop the legislature from doing her statutory job and neither can the Governor hamstring the judiciary in the performance of its duties.

“The Governor is however committed to supporting all arms of government to operate within the ambit of the law and constitution.

“We have stated it persistently that those holding social media briefs for the Chief Judge are not doing the Judiciary any good. The sponsored civil society groups that failed to acknowledge the good that the Adeleke-led Administration is doing for the Judiciary are those running sponsored lies against the present administration in Osun.

“It is from the above premise that the state government was taken aback by the allegations from the coalition of civil society groups. We urge the public to take note that the Governor will not be involved in anything against the law, due process and constitution of the Republic of Nigeria,” a statement signed by Kolapo Alimi, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment read.

Adeleke denies rift with Ooni, clears air on ‘handshake dodge’ controversy

Meanwhile, a viral video showing the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi at an event in Ondo State has been stirring controversy within the polity in the state and more deeply on the internet.

The trending video, shared on various social platforms, saw Adeleke delaying the reciprocation of a courtesy extended to him by the monarch who stood up from his seat upon sighting the governor being ushered into the party arena.

The development was seen as disrespect to the royal throne by many social media users as others expressed concerns at what they described as “the monarch’s likeness for attendance at parties and other public events.”

In some quarters, rumour has been rife that Adeleke has not been on good terms with the first class monarch.

Reacting, the Osun State Government dismissed speculation of love lost between the duo public figures, alleging that the viral video showing Governor Adeleke ‘delaying’ response to the courtesy of the monarch at an event last weekend was fake and doctored.

A statement signed by Kolapo Alimi, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, on Wednesday maintained that the video is not the true reflection of what transpired at the event, adding that the original video of the exchange of pleasantries between Adeleke and Ogunwusi has been released by the state government.

Alimi explained that the duo had earlier exchanged pleasantries at the palace of the Osemawe of Ondo, where Senator Olubiyi Fadeyi, bagged a chieftaincy title, before meeting at the reception.

He urged the public to disregard the doctored video while the government has uploaded the original videos from the event for public consumption.