*Says Governor Never Had The Intention Of Cutting Short The Tenure Of The Chief Judge
The Ondo State Government on Friday denied embarking on any move to probe or sack the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu, describing the action of the Chief Judge in a suit instituted by her as a mere ego trip which the state government refused to participate in it.
The state government who stated this in a statement issued and signed by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation in the state, Mr Donald Ojogo, said the state did not consider the exercise as worthy of any legal efforts.
Ojogo disclosed that the state government and the governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, regarded the suit as an unnecessary distraction and said no legal representation was made neither on behalf of the Attorney General nor the Government for the period it lasted.
The statement read: “The attention of the Ondo State Government has drawn to a news item circulating in the media in respect of the subject matter referenced above.
“The Ondo State Government 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 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”
The statement read further that “It 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.”
It will be recalled that a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, last Thursday stopped the state governor from removing the Chief Judge over a viral video made by a citizen of the state, Olupelumi Fagboyegun.
The Court ruled that the power to investigate, probe and indict judicial officers for any official misconduct in the discharge of duties is constitutionally vested on the National Judicial Council (NJC) only.