Rescind plots to remove Osun CJ, CSO warns Adeleke, rejects politician as OSIEC chair

A coalition of civil society organizations (CSO) in Osun state, Wednesday warned governor Ademola Adeleke to rescind the plots to remove the Chief Judge, Oyebola Adepele-Ojo.

The groups also kicked against the appointment of Special Adviser to governor Adeleke on Legal Matters, Hashim Abioye, as the chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

Speaking at a press conference in Osogbo, Ayo Ologun, the coordinator of Transparency Accountability Group (TAG), who spoke on behalf of Emmanuel Olowu of the Committee for Democracy and Human Rights (CDHR), Ismaheel Adedokun of Dialogue 360 and Wole Folaranmi, the Vice Chairman of Osun Coalition of Civil Society Coalition (OSCSC), said a petition has been written against Justice Ojo because the plan to move her suspension failed at the House of Assembly.

“The coalition of civil society groups committed to upholding the principles of justice, transparency, and the rule of law strongly condemns the recent attempt by the Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, to illegally remove the Chief Judge of Osun State, Honorable Justice Adebola Adepele Ojo. This move is particularly troubling as it appears to be a reprisal against the Chief Judge for her principled stand against attempts to manipulate the judiciary in the state.

“The Chief Judge, in her capacity, has a constitutional duty to uphold justice and ensure the fair and impartial administration of the law. Her commitment to these principles should be celebrated, not met with attempts at removal for political reasons.

“We hereby call on Governor Ademola Adeleke to respect the independence of the judiciary and immediately cease any attempts to remove the Chief Judge based on her principled stance. The judiciary must be allowed to operate without fear of reprisal or political interference, ensuring that justice is served impartially and without bias,” the group says.

Similarly, the group said the appointment of a partisan figure, such as Hashim Abioye, to head an independent electoral commission contradicts the fundamental principle of ensuring a non-partisan, impartial, and transparent electoral process, saying “It is essential for the integrity of the electoral system that individuals entrusted with such responsibilities are perceived as neutral and unbiased.

“The appointment raises serious questions about the independence of OSIEC and the potential impact on the credibility of future electoral processes in Osun State. The role of the electoral commission is pivotal in ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections, and the appointment of a politically affiliated individual compromises the perceived neutrality of the commission.

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Kolapo Alimi, in a reaction, said the governor and all government officials whether elected or appointed into any arm of government are not immune from the accountability process.

“The governor is therefore not in a position to stop the legislature from doing her statutory job and neither can the governor hamstring the judiciary in the performance of its duties,” Alimi said.