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Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Ondo Gov Akeredolu says not interested in sacking state chief judge

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has cleared the air on allegations that he intended to remove the state Chief Judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu from office over alleged professional misconduct.

Akeredolu was reacting to a judgment by a Federal High Court in Abuja which barred the state governor and his attorney general from investigating or removing the chief judge from office.

In a judgment delivered by Justice lnyang Ekwo, it was held that only the National Judicial Council (NJC) has the statutory power to investigate, suspend or sack a serving judicial officer from office for engaging in an act of judicial misconduct.

It also held that neither the governor, the Attorney General of the state nor the state House of Assembly could exercise such power.

In a statement signed by the state commissioner for information, Donald Ojogo, the governor said the state from the commencement of the said suit in question, did not consider it worthy of any legal efforts.

“It was vainly an ego pursuit as far as Government was concerned. In unambiguous terms, the suit was an unnecessary distraction for which no legal representation was made neither on behalf of the Attorney General nor the Government for the period it sufficed,” the governor said.

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“The reasons behind the needless efforts to drag in the Executive Arm of the State Government, particularly Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN into the matter are well noted.

“lt must be stated, however, that, Governor Akeredolu is not only a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria; he is indeed a Life Bencher who had served as a member of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“He is, therefore, better informed with the procedural processes relating to the removal of a serving Chief Judge of a State hence his directive that the State Government should not participate in the hearing of the needless suit filed by the Chief Judge (CJ).

“Simply put, the Executive Arm of the Ondo State Government led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN at no time had interest whatsoever, in cutting short the tenure of the State CJ.

”If at all, the State Government can only wish the  CJ God’s Infinite Grace till August so as to accord her a deserving retirement honour as a Jurist,” the statement added.

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