SAN accuses Governor Adeleke of stifling judiciary in Osun as JUSUN strike enters day 57

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Adegboyega Awomolo, has accused the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke of stoking the crisis in the state judiciary arm of government following the ongoing strike action by the Osun State chapter of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.

JUSUN has been at loggerheads with the state Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, over alleged highhandedness, withholding of wardrobe allowances among others and had on November 22 embarked on indefinite strike following a clash with policemen.

Police had dispersed the judiciary workers to stem possible degeneration of a protest, caused by the unexpected arrival of the Chief Judge who had come to resume work on the fateful day.

Angered by the alleged attack on the workers by the police, JUSUN declared an indefinite strike action that subsists as at the time of filing this report, thereby paralysing activities in courts across the state.

Condemning the lingering industrial action while speaking on a Rave FM radio programme monitored by The Point, Awomolo alleged that Governor Adeleke holds the judiciary hostage by not allowing it perform its functions.

The SAN, who is the Vice Chairman of the Body of Benchers, asked the governor to leave the judiciary alone and allow it perform its duties.

He said, “My appeal to our politicians is to leave our judiciary alone. Judiciary is the only institution in this country that is deepening democracy. Judiciary is the only one that is helping to stabilize Nigeria economically, politically, socially and in every respect. If we destroy the judiciary, we will be in trouble.

“Let me also appeal to the governor and government of Osun State, please, leave the judiciary alone. Leave the judiciary alone, let them prosper. Let them do their work. Why is that a small labour unit is disturbing the whole of the judiciary of Osun State? The Attorney General is looking, the Governor is looking, and everybody is looking. What are you looking for? The common people of Osun State, what are you looking for? People are taken to jail every day, there is no court to sit over them.

“There are communal fights here and there over land, over chieftaincy, over property. What are the government and people of Osun State doing? Help us, leave the judiciary alone. Let the judiciary in Osun State perform its functions. Follow the due process of law. Osun State Judiciary deserves her independence. Please, leave them alone.”

Meanwhile, the state government has denied having any hand in the crisis rocking Osun judiciary.

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment in the state, Kolapo Alimi, while reacting swiftly on the programme,said, “The Osun State Government, in no way, has no hand in the current imbroglio going on in Osun Judiciary. The issue is basically between those who petitioned the Chief Judge of the State, my Lord Justice Adepele Ojo and the NJC on one hand, on the other between JUSUN, Judiciary Staff Union of Osun State and the Chief Judge.

“In fact, the governor has held a series of meetings with JUSUN and has tried to pay some arrears so as to resolve the issue but the issues keep on lingering. So, we have no hand in it and we don’t want anybody to drag us into it,” he maintained.