Court stops Adeleke from removing Osun CJ

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, has barred Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke from replacing the State Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo, and Michael Obidiya, as secretaries of the state Judicial Service Commission.

The orders were issued in response to two separate lawsuits filed by Ojo and Obidiya through their counsel, Oladipo Olasope.

Ojo had taken Adeleke before the court in a suit number NICN/IB/6123 filed by her counsel, and was joined in the issue by the Osun State Attorney General, the Osun State Judicial Service Commission, and the state Accountant General.

The claimant in a motion ex-parte dated November 15, 2023, prayed the court for an order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants from removing, reversing, or terminating her appointment and conditions of service as the Chief Judge of Osun State, “including but not limited to salaries and other pecuniary benefits, pending the determination of the interlocutory application.”

Ojo also sought an order mandating the 4th defendant to continue to pay her salary, entitlements, emoluments, remuneration and other benefits as the Chief Judge of Osun State, pending the determination of the interlocutory application.

Upon hearing Olasope, counsel to the claimant, D. Peters, subsequently held, “An order of interim injunction is issued restraining the Defendants by themselves or their agents or privies howsoever so-called from interfering with removing, reversing or terminating the appointment and conditions of service of the Applicant as the Hon. Chief Judge of Osun State including but not limited to salaries and other pecuniary benefits pending the determination of the interlocutory application.

“An order is here issued mandatory for the 4th Defendant to continue to pay the salary, entitlements, emoluments and other benefits and money the Applicant is entitled to the Hon. Chief Judge of Osun State pending the determination of the interlocutory application.”

The court adjourned the matter for hearing of the pending motion on notice till December 12, 2023.

Similarly, ruling on an ex-parte motion with suit number NICN/IB/60/23, brought by Obidiya against Adeleke, Attorney General, State Judicial Service Commission and the State Accountant General, Justice Peters granted the reliefs sought by the claimant.

The court subsequently issued an interim order restraining the defendants from removing, reversing or terminating the appointment and conditions of service of the applicant as the Secretary of the Osun State Judicial Service including but not limited to salaries and other pecuniary benefits pending the determination of the interlocutory application.

The court further held, “An order of interim injunction is here issued restraining the Defendants from appointing Mrs. Abosede Fagbola to the position of secretary of the Judicial Service Commission and or giving effect to the circular issued by the Defendants dated 7th November 2023 transfering the said Mrs Abosede Fagbola to the Judicial Service.

“The 4 Defendant, Accountant General of Osun State, is here ordered and directed to continue to pay the salary, entitlements, emoluments, remuneration and other benefits.”

The court adjourned the matter till December 12, 2023, for hearing of the pending motion on notice.