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CJN Justice Mahmud Mohammed

Impeachment Petition: LG Boss Asks NJC To Sanction Judge

A Local Government Boss In Osun State, Mr. Gbenga Ogunkanmi Has Called On National Judicial Council To Probe Activities Of Justice Oyedele Folaranmi Of The Osun State High Court For Calling For Governor Rauf Aregbesola’impeachment.

Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has been called upon to probe the activities of Justice Oyedele Folaranmi of the Osun State High Court who called for the impeachment of governor Rauf Aregbesola in a petition she sent to the state House of Assembly. The Executive Secretary of Ayedire Local Government in the state, Mr Gbenga Ogunkanmi who made the call, stated that Folahanmi has intentionally dragged the judiciary into the mud by calling for the impeachment of the head of another arm of government.

Addressing members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) at a monthly meeting of the party in Ileogbo, yesterday, Ogunkanmi maintained that Folahanmi has flouted Rule 1 (A) and 3 (B) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers in Nigeria. The council boss argued that it was unbecoming of a judge to call for the impeachment of a governor, saying that the call was capable of inciting members of the public against the elected governor, and as well diminish the sanctity of the judiciary. His words: “Justice Folahanmi, by virtue of her status in the society, is a respected opinion leader and she is expected to be neutral and apolitical.

Calling for impeachment of the governor has however raised a big poser on her intention, competence and morality as a judge. “ To the best of my knowledge, a judge can only make comment in such manner in the cause of performing his or her official duties in the open court or during other judicial administrative duties, judges are second to God as the last hope of the government and the governs. “It is uncalled for and immoral for a judge to descend to the arena and place herself side-by-side with uninformed members of the society. “Judiciary is the most sensitive, sacred arm of the government; if the parliament in any circumstances unlawfully intends to impeach Governor Aregbesola, his last resort will be the court.

Unfortunately, judiciary is now a party to the case already. Where will the governor turns to for redress? Justice Folaranmi has indicted the judiciary already. “ With a sitting judge defiance to core principle of separation of power, one can easily argue that there is a conspiracy between the legislative arm of government and the judiciary to weaken the executive arm.

“In the interest of democracy, it is necessary for the National judicial Council to investigate the activities of the judge and sanction her for misconduct. We need to know her state of mind politically.” Ogunkanmi who absolved Aregbesola of the alleged mismanagement of the state resources, said the NJC could only restore people’s confidence in the judiciary by sanctioning Justice Folaranmi to restrain other judicial officers from misconduct. “Presently, Justice Folahanmi has portrayed herself as antagonist of Aregbesola and by extension the APC. How do we trust her judgment on any case that has to do with politicians brought before her? She has simply cast apprehension on the judiciary”, he added. He contended that the nonpayment of salaries which formed the basis of Justice Folahanmi’s petition was as a result of the reduction of federal allocation to the state and not resources mismanagement by Aregbesola as alleged.

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