Efforts of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party (P‘DP) in Osun State to sweep under the carpet, the corrupt practice and unethical behaviour of Justice Thomas Naron and Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye, counsel to the sacked governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, during the first election petition tribunal that handled the petition of Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, on the 2007 gubernatorial election, has ended in futility.
Three years after Naron-led tribunal had compromisingly dismissed Aregbesola’s petition against the declaration of Oyinlola as the winner of the 2007 gubernatorial election, the National Judicial Council (NJC), has set up a committee to probe Naron, members of the panel and Kalejaiye.
It would be recalled that Aregbesola had through his counsel, Mr. Ajibola Bashiru, petitioned the NJC, alleging Naron and Kalejaiye of unethical behaviours and illicit conversations, which led to the dismissal of his petition by the tribunal.
Aregbesola obtained call logs that showed places, time, duration and type of conversation between Naron and Kalejaiye, from the mobile telecommunication giant, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) to prove all his allegations.
In response to Aregbesola’s lawyer’s petition, the NJC, in a letter with reference number NJC\6\3\l 0\1\002 and dated August 1, 2011, explained that, the decision to setup a panel to investigate Justice Naron-led tribunal, was taken at its May 25 and 26, 2011 meeting.
The letter, which was signed by the Director of Administration in the NJC, Mr. E. I. Odukwu, therefore directed Bashiru to come to the panel’s sitting at the Supreme Court premises on August 10 and 11.
According to the letter sent to Aregbesola: “Re: NJC Investigation Committee on Allegation against Hon. Justice Thomas Naron and four others on the Governorship Election Tribunal, Osun State, I am directed to inform you that at the 55th Meeting of the National Judicial Council held on the May 25 and 26, 2011, a committee was set up to investigate the petition signed by your lawyer on your behalf dated February 4, 2011 against the members of the first panel of election tribunal viz: Justices Naron, Mohammed, Akpughunum, Badamasi and Ekanem, in respect of petition No. OVIEPT/OS/107: Rauf Aregbesola and two others Vs. Olagunsoye Oyinlola and others.
“In the light of the above, I am directed by the chairman to invite you to the sittings of the committee taking place on August 10 and 11, 20l1. Venue is the NJC Building, Supreme Court Complex, Abuja. Time is 10am daily.”
“You are expected to come along with all supporting documents, witnesses and counsel, if any.”
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that Naron, Kalejaiye and members of the tribunal that handled the petition had been notified of the plan to investigate their conducts during the legal tussle.
The development had however sent jilters down the spines of Osun State PDP, Kalejaiye and Oyinlola, who had thought that the case had been successfully swept underthe carpet.
Twenty-four human rights activists under the umbrella of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) were arrested, detained, arraigned and remanded in prison custody for calling for the dissolution of Naron-led tribunal, following the establishment of the call log saga.