Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has appointed Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting Chief Judge of Osun state with immediate effect, following the approval of the resolution of the House of Assembly.
This was disclosed by the spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement obtained in Osogbo on Thursday.
Afolabi is next in line in order of seniority to the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo.
Earlier, Adeleke, had approved the resolution of the State Assembly, that recommended the suspension of Ojo.
The spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement said the House had approved Ojo’s suspension at its plenary.
“Meanwhile, following the approval of the resolution of the House by the governor, the deputy governor has been directed by the governor to perform the swearing-in ceremony of the acting Chief Judge of Osun State which will be held tomorrow at the Executive Lounge, Governor’s Office, Osogbo,” the statement partly read.
Giving further details of what transpired at the plenary, Press Secretary to the Speaker, Tiamiyu Olamide, in a statement, said the Assembly resolved that the House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and Legal Matters should investigate petitions submitted against Ojo by inviting her.
The committee was given seven days to report its findings to the House.
The statement read, “This decision was taken during the plenary on Thursday, the House also resolved that pending the outcome of the investigation, the Chief Judge of Osun State Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo should step aside, not for any disciplinary action, but to allow for proper investigation.
“This House decision is in line with the investigative powers vested on the House of Assembly by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“The Executive Arm was also advised to immediately swear in the next judge in order of seniority as the acting Chief Judge of Osun State in order not to create a vacuum in the office while the executive was also advised to notify the National Judicial Council and the State Judicial Service Commission of the resolution of the House.”
Meanwhile, the suspended Chief Judge has sued Adeleke, the state Attorney General and the Osun State Judicial Service Commission before the National Industrial Court in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Earlier on Thursday, the suspended CJ, through her lawyer, Mr. Oladipo Olasope (SAN), obtained an interim order restraining the governor and other defendants from removing her from office.
Justice J.D. Peters, ruling on the motion ex parte marked NICN/IB/6123, made “an order of interim injunction restraining the defendants by themselves or their agents or privies howsoever so-called from interfering with removing, reversing or terminating the appointment and conditions of service of the applicant as the as the Hon. Chief Judge of Osun State including but not limited to salaries and other pecuniary benefits pending the determination of the interlocutory application.”
The judge made a similar order in the case of the Secretary to the Osun State JSC, Michael Obidiya, who also sued the governor to block his planned removal.
Both matters were adjourned till December 12 for hearing of Motions on Notice.
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