Why The Centre Can No Longer Hold In Osun Judiciary

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…CJ accused of breach of code of conduct

Aggrieved members of staff of Osun state judiciary have accused the chief Judge of the state, Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, of unchecked breach of the code of conduct for public officers.

The workers explained why they have refused to call off the industrial action it’s members have embarked upon.

According to them, the Chief Judge allegedly engaged in misappropriation of public funds, illegal virement, disobedience of court order, diversion of funds and general abuse of office.

According to them, following the receipt of numerous petitions and complaint of the judiciary staff workers union against Justice Adepele Ojo, from civil societies organization including the Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the Osun State House of Assembly investigated the complaints and petitions by setting up a committee which proceeded to invite several persons and called for documents after which a finding was made showing that the allegations have some semblance of truth in them.

The workers said the Committee presented its report to the house after which same was deliberated on by the House and a recommendation was made to Governor Ademola. Adeleke for action.

Theybsaid the Osun State Chapter of JUSUN have been constantly agitating for the welfare of its staff for the release of the entitlement of the staff on one hand and the reinstatement of some of the staff who have been on suspension for more than 54 months despite the fact that the allegation pursuant to which they were suspended had been determined by the court and have been found not culpable, on the other hand.

The workers chronicled the acitivites to include”

“Engagement of Consultant without due process and Requisite Approval
In gross violation of the General Code of Conduct for Public Officers and the Code of Conduct for Procurement, Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, the Chief Judge of the Osun State Judiciary, unilaterally and without following due process awarded the contract for the collection of fees for e-filing of affidavit to a Consultant without any written or signed contract or memorandum of understanding approved by the requisite state revenue bodies including the State Board of Internal Revenue and the Auditor General of Osun State. In fact, it was discovered that the said Consultant who was unilaterally engaged was authorised by Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo, the Chief Judge of the Osun State High Court of Justice, to collect fees pursuant to a consultancy arrangement between the Chief Judge and the Consultant only to merely remit a token to the account of the states without any audit whatsoever.

“Collection of Robe Allowance of a Brother Judge
Between the year 2014 and 2015, Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo was applied for robe allowance of eleven (11) judges of the Osun State High Court of Justice and when the moneys were approved and paid into the account of the Judiciary.

“The sum of NGN5,000,000.00 which was the robe allowance of a brother judge, Hon. Justice Oloyede, was not paid to him. Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo was alleged to have, in flagrant abuse of due process and the known norms, converted the said sum to personal use by leveraging on his authority as the Chief Judge to unlawfully instructed the pay-mistress, Toyin Akinbola, to pay the said sum into his personal account. it was further alleged that when this was discovered and Honourable Justice Oloyede approached the Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo about the issue, rather than refund the money which was alleged to have been illegally and unlawfully received into his personal account, Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo simply applied for another robe allowance in the name of Honourable Justice Oloyede in the sum of NGN5,000,000.00 which was paid to the latter in 2022. The sum of NGN5,000,000.00 which was paid to Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo was never refunded by him up till date.

“Application of the running cost of the judiciary
The sum of NGN1,000,000.00 per month had been allocated and budgeted as part of the Running Costs of the Osun State Judiciary for Books which includes law report and other materials for legal research. Reports however shows that since 2015 during the ongoing tenure of Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo as the Chief Judge of Osun State High Court of Justice, no single law report has been bought but the NGN1,000,000.00 is being spent every month without any evidence that books were bought up till the present day. The accumulated budget for books, magazines and other periodicals since 2015 is approximately 96 million naira. Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo as the Chief Judge of the Osun State High Court of Justice has not been able to tender any explanation in relation to this and these monies remain completely unaccounted for.

“Usurpation of the Powers of the Osun State Judicial Service Commission
In complete usurpation of the powers of the judicial service commission which is the body responsible for the investigation, discipline and recommendation of appropriate sanction for Judiciary Staff workers from level 7 and above, Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo was alleged to unilaterally and without recourse to the Judicial Service Commission suspend five (5) judiciary staff workers the least of ranked of whom was on level 8 while some of them were even level 10. It is instructive to note that up till now, the Judicial Service Commission is not aware that any of the officers were ever investigated or suspended. The Government of Osun State is also not aware up to date that any of the staff is under suspension or any form of punishment as the government continues to pay their salaries.

“Unlawful collection of rent allowance
Every judge is entitled to certain percentage of his salary as rent payable by the state government for judges who are not resident in government provided judicial officers’ quarters. All other judges except the Chief Judge stay in their respective private residence. Only the Chief Judge lives in premises provided by the government. It was however alleged that while staying in government provided residence, Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo as the Chief Judge of the Osun State High Court of Justice, still collects rent allowance like other judges who lives in their respective private residence despite residing in government provided official residence in flagrant breach of the Code of Conduct.

“Unlawful and Illegal Variation of the Order of a Brother Judge by administrative instruction
Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo was alleged to have varied the judicial Order in a suit which was tried by brother judge through administrative directions to the Registrar of the Court by instructing the said Registrar to pay money which was ordered by a brother judge in Charge No. HIK/8C/16 to be paid into the account of the state government as revenue into the account of the state judiciary for personal disbursement. Honourable Justice Oyebola Adepele Ojo as the Chief Judge of the Osun State Judiciary illegally and unlawfully reviewed and varied the Order of a brother judge in Charge No. HIK/8C/16 when he, in extra judicial manner, allegedly instructed that sum of NGN7,400,000.00 which were proceeds of arm robbery ordered to be paid into the account of the State Government be paid into the account of the judiciary and disbursed the money as part of the budget of the judiciary.

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