JUST IN: Osun Assembly acting with youthful exuberance, willing tools for Adeleke – Masterminds

The Osun Masterminds has described the current Osun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Adewale Egbedun as on acting with youthful exuberance who have become willing tools in the hands of Governor Ademola Adeleke.....CONTINUE READING

Executive Director of the Agency, Prof Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli said this on Friday when he was reacting to the roles played by the House in the controversial suspension of the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Adebola Ojo and appointment of Mr Hashim Abioye as the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission.

Oyedokun-Alli, during the November State of the State address, said the Assembly is being used by the Governor to legalize any illegality.

Oyedokun-Alli said, “The news of the House of Assembly’s resolution to remove the Chief Judge and ask the Governor to swear in a replacement, in acting capacity, left us dazed. This is because we believed that the 8th Assembly, populated by true youths, should be looking to set positive standards for legislation, to convince everyone that indeed, youths have the capacity to lead.

Unfortunately however, the Osun State House of Assembly is quickly turning itself into not just a rubber-stamp Assembly, but a willing tool in the hands of the Executive, used to legitimize any and every illegality that the Executive wants to perpetrate.”

The Osun Masterminds described the suspension of CJ Ojo as illegal, stating that House lacks powers to make such recommendations to the Governor without investigating her.

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“While it may be within the powers of the Assembly, and the Executive, to hire and fire appointees of government, the Assembly has however become emboldened to try its powers of ‘hire and fire’ on every and any sector of Osun State, even on a distinctly independent arm of government, the Judiciary.

To properly educate the House of Assembly, we should make some reference to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 271(1) of the Nigerian constitution states that “The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State”.

The above provision of the constitution makes it very clear that the appointment of a Chief Judge for a State must be upon the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, only subject to confirmation by the House of Assembly.

Obviously, the House of Assembly has no such powers to unilaterally, without the recommendations of the National Judicial Council, appoint a Chief Judge for the State. The constitution is very clear and we cannot stand the law on its head because we need to service certain political expediences.

We are very much aware of the provisions of Section 292(1)(ii) of the Nigerian constitution which states that “Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State, Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct”.

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However, the House of Assembly cannot decide that the Chief Judge of a State is guilty of misconduct, just by receiving petitions against her. This is a constitutional democracy and you cannot suspend the Head of another arm of government for allegations that have not been substantiated. That is like jailing an accused person before hearing.”

The group asked whether the Assembly will immediately suspend the Governor before investigating him if it got a petition against the Adeleke.

“Pray tell, if we write a petition to the House of Assembly today, against the person of the Executive Governor of the State, will the Assembly impeach him first before a proper hearing on the petition? Even the criminal code is clear on the presumption of innocence of an accused person. Why is the Assembly in a hurry to fire the Head of the State’s judiciary?”