The Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State has berated the National Judiclal Council for recommending compulsory retirement for a judge in the Osun State High Court, Justice Folahanmi Oloyede.
The Chairman of the group, Mr. Sulaiman Adeniyi, said at a press conference in Osogbo on Wednesday that the sacking of the judge could weaken the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammad Buhari, because many would not want to speak against the evils being perpetrated by public office holders.
Oloyode, who last year accused Governor Rauf Aregbesola of corruption and abdication of his primary responsibilities including payment of workers’ salaries had petitioned the House of Assembly and asked them to impeach the governor and his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye Tomori, for this offences.
The NJC, after their investigation to the petition written against the judge by a group known as Osun Civil Societies Coalition, recommended that Oloyede should be retired compulsorily.
But Adeniyi said the CSCEOS believed the NJC colluded with some corrupt public officers to victimise Oloyode, who they described as ” one of the very few courageous and incorruptible judges left in the Nigerian judiciary.”
Adeniyi said, ” It is a calculated miscarriage of justice aimed at forever discouraging and silencing any person(s) who might want to speak out against the multitude of evil of the so called elected leaders in our country.
“We appeal to all men of good conscience to strongly reject and condemn this abuse of power by the so called elected public office holders to subjugate the masses. We also appeal to President Muhhamadu Buhari to urgently constitute an independent and unbiased panel of inquiry into this matter that has the capacity to rubbish his anti-corruption crusade.”
Adeniyi claimed that the OCSC led by Mr. Waheed Lawal which petitioned the NJC and asked them to dismiss Oloyede was an extension of Aregbesola.
He stated that his group countered the petition written by Lawal led group and swore to affidavit to prove that Lawal was not fit to bring such petition before the NJC because he and most members of the group had criminal cases hanging on them.
Adeniyi stated that despite the evidence presented before the NJC to show that the petitioners were not fit to write the petition and their refusal to defend the allegations against them, the NJC still recommended compulsory retirement for Oloyede.
The group accused the NJC of circumventing it’s own guideline published in 2015, that the body would not treat any petition without first investigating the integrity of the petitioners.