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PDP Drags Judiciary Into Party Crisis

  THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State of Osun might be dragging the judiciary into its crisis, following repeated recusal requests being made by the Adeleke dynasty group on a case instituted by the suspended Chairman of the party, Hon. Soji Adagunodo against his suspension. Besides, some PDP members in the South-West have…”
Yusuf
July 24, 2021 7:21 am

 

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State of Osun might be dragging the judiciary into its crisis, following repeated recusal requests being made by the Adeleke dynasty group on a case instituted by the suspended Chairman of the party, Hon. Soji Adagunodo against his suspension.

Besides, some PDP members in the South-West have accused the Adeleke dynasty group of attempting to arrest judgment on the case registered Suit No HIK/23/2020, warning that the Judiciary should not be blackmailed or intimidated to pander to the wish of a particular party.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that an Osogbo High Court had adjourned Adagunodo’s case for judgment on July 29, 2021, after hearing the arguments from the parties in the matter.

It would be recalled that the case was originally heard by Justice Jide Falola of the Ikirun High Court.

Justice Falola was asked to recuse himself from the case in a petition filed by the State Secretary of the party, Prince Bola Ajao.

Ajao, in the petition dated March 08, 2021, alleged Falola of ‘likelihood bias’, which made the defendants lose confidence in him in the bid to get justice on the matter.

The case was reassigned to Justice S.A. Oke of High Court 4, Osogbo Division, which entertained all injunctions and arguments from the counsels and parties to the case, and subsequently adjourned the case for ruling and judgment.

However, the medium gathered that the defendants in the suit were not also comfortable with Justice Oke and wanted the case to be transferred to another judge (to make it the third judge that will entertain the case).

When it was apparent that the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Adepele Ojo, might not be ready to transfer the case again from Justice Oke, the National Deputy Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Prince Diran Odeyemi, approached the National Judicial Council (NJC), asking for Justice Oke to recuse himself.

Diran, in the letter sent to the NJC dated July 14, 2021, states: “I write this letter to show breach of fair hearing of the defendants and lack of competence displayed by Hon. Justice S.A. Oke in the above-mentioned suit on July 7, 2021, contrary to Rule 3.1 of the Reserved Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I hereby apply that your lordship directs the Osun State Chief Judge to request for the case file from Hon Justice S.A. Oke on grounds of likelihood of bias, which has made the defendants to lose confidence in the court in their bid to get justice.

“The plaintiff commenced the instant suit via an Originating Summon, which contains contentious issues of facts; and allegations were made against several persons who were never joined in the suit.

“Pursuant to Paragraph 1 Supra, the defendants brought a Motion on Notice dated July 6, 2021 for the conversation of Originating Summon to a Writ Summon in view of the hostile nature of the originating summon. It was also the case of the defendant that due to the hostile nature of the originating summon, it will be in the interest of justice to convert same to a writ of summon so that the defendants will be able to call evidence to defend the suit.

“Hon. Justice S.A. Oke consolidated the Motion on Notice, Preliminary Objection and Originating Summon together by its ruling of July 7, 2021.

“The honourabe court held the motion dated July 6, 2021 and failed to decide on it one way or the other before proceeding to hear the Originating Summon that the said motion on Notice dated the July 2021 seeks to address.

“Further to Paragraph 5 Supra, Hon Justice S.A. Oke had already prejudged the Motion on Notice dated 6th July 2021, even before its ruling on same, when it proceeded to hear the Originating Summon that the said motion seeks to address.

“Hon Justice S.A. Oke breached the fundamental right to fair hearing of the defendants”

But PDP South-West Youth Alliance, State of Osun Chapter, accused Odeyemi, Ajao and other members of the Adeleke dynasty group of attempting to blackmail and intimidate the judiciary.

The group, in a letter titled “Save Osun State Judiciary From Dr. Deji Adeleke And His Cronies”, signed by  the trio of Abiodun Adegoke, Babatunde Oladapo and Abiodun Adekanola, said: “We are representatives of the silent majority in Osun State Chapter of the PDP.

“Findings from our recent survey on the happenings in the PDP, coupled with our unflinching love for democracy and overall wellness of our great party, gave prominence to this significant gathering concerning the legal tussle between Hon. Olasoji Adagunodo and the PDP, as well as Mr. Sunday Bisi, Elder Sunday Akanfe Atidade, Prince Bola Ajao and a number of other supporters of Dr. Deji Adeleke.

“It would be recalled that Hon. Adagunodo was asked to step aside as the party chairman on 30th of April, 2020, sequel to a petition written by three persons loyal to Senator Ademola Adeleke and forwarded to the national leadership of the party.

“That is why Dr. Deji Adeleke and his people in the minority are desperately trying to build something on nothing and as of now, doing everything possible to stop the high court sitting in Osogbo from ruling on the case on July 29th, 2021.

“This is a threat to the image of Osun State Judiciary. More so, the case has been heard, judgment is being awaited. And, delivery of judgments has time-bar, under the Constitution. We compassionately plead that the judgment should be delivered as scheduled.

“Whoever is not satisfied can go on appeal. The Judiciary should not be blackmailed or intimidated to pander to the wish of a particular party.

“We wish to place it on record that the latest petition signed by one Diran Odeyemi and forwarded to the NJC against the current judge, requesting the NJC to direct the CJ of Osun State to retrieve the case file and reassign it to another judge, reeks of good reasoning and constitutes an abuse of the Judiciary.

“If not checked, this will weaken the judiciary institution in the state. We hold, therefore, that this development is not in the best interest of Osun and its people. We strongly believe that the recent petition to the NJC amounts to arrest of judgment.”

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