A group, under the aegis of the Sunshine Legal Group, has condemned the recent move of the Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to impeach the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, over issues surrounding the alleged illegal detainment of her brother, Olupemi Fagboyegun.
In a viral video, Fagboyegun accused Justice Akeredolu of using the state judiciary to persecute and illegally lock him up for more than three years. He stated that the crime filed against him was that he forcefully entered his father’s house when he returned from abroad where he has lived for over 30years.
Following the allegations, an independent investigation which was launched which was headed by Rotimi Olorunfemi Esq.( Chairman) and Ademola Ikujuni Esq. and according to the findings, it was revealed that the magistrates handling the case were at various times transferred to and out of Owo Magisterial Division leading to three magistrates handling the case.
It also revealed that the court also showed that Mr. Fagboyegun was unavailable for his trial at one time or the other in the course of the trial and that the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow the court to sit for a greater part of the year 2020.
The group also expressed his worry and displeasure over the referral of the petition to House of Assembly as it says such move will cause unwarranted public scrutiny.
The group through its spokesman, Mr. Allen Obatuyi stated that the allegations made against the Chief Judge are unfounded as they were only made to smear her good image. The group also alleged that as made evident by the findings of the Nigerian Bar Association Akure Chapter, it’s quite evident that the Chief Judge has done nothing unconstitutional.
Mr. Obatuyi also condemned the alleged move of the State Governor to impeach the Chief Judge, according to him, the Chief Judge is under threat because she failed to support the move of the Ondo State Governor to impeach the outgoing deputy Governor of the State, Hon. Agboola Ajayi.
Also, foremost Nigerian Lawyer and Principal Partner of Castle of Law, Abuja, Olukayode Ajulo PhD, registered his displeasure at some steps taken by the Ondo State Executive with regards to issue.
According to the statement issued by Ajulo, he expressed his reservations to why the (former) Hon. Attorney General of the State who had possession of the court process but failed to make it available to the public so as to enable public commentators and observers make informed decision about the issue.
Also he questioned the legitimacy of the purported nolle prosequi entered by the (former) AG of the state after the executive cabinet had earlier been dissolved by the state Governor.
According to him,” it is curious that in spite of the dissolution of the cabinet of the incumbent Executive of the State as widely reported in the afternoon of yesterday, the former Honorable Attorney General still proceeded to take some far reaching decisions as it affects the criminal matter in respect of Mr.Fagboyegun”
He further stated,” the Provisions of section 153 of the constitution are very far from being ambiguous. The House of Assembly of the State cannot exercise disciplinary control touching the discipline of the Chief Judge of the State or other judicial officers in the state.”
He enjoined the state government as being led by the Governor Akeredolu to ensure that the right process and decision is reached in accordance with the law without unnecessary damage to anyone’s integrity and reputation.