March 4, 2024

The National Judicial Council had commenced investigation into the several petitions filed against a Chief Judge, it was learnt on Wednesday.

This was contrary to earlier report in the media.

A check at the NJC Abuja, revealed that the Council in line with its tradition had taken up its independent investigation after rejecting the report and recommendations of a similar probe by the House of Assembly as forwarded by Governor Ademola Adeleke.

As part of the process, a copy of the petition filed by the state Judicial workers’ union was reportedly sent for response.

A source at NJC discloses that there was an investigative query already issued, adding that they heard that the person in question is out of the country.

“The investigation has commenced. The petition has been sent for answer. It is the response the Council is waiting for. So nobody has killed the petition as indicated in some media reports.

“NJC has its procedure. Petitions are normally reviewed without bias. The NJC had only rejected the Governor’s request. That does not invalidate the petitions which was filed by the workers and their union.”

A copy of one of the petition obtained by our correspondent listed series of allegations against the Chief Judge.

According to the petition, about N7.5million recovered from some condemned persons involved in the widely reported Ikirun Bank robbery in the state, was diverted.

Specifically, the petition alleged that directive was given that the sum recovered from the convict must be paid into the account of Osun State Government but a contrary directive was also given that the money should be paid into the account of the state judiciary.

The petition also alleged that some staff of the Osun Judiciary were unilaterally suspended, without any recourse to the State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) for more than four years, while salaries and allowances of the affected staff were paid into an unauthorised special account without notifying the state government paying the salaries.

It was further alleged that even though some of the suspended staff faced several panels, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), which exonerated them, their suspension was not lifted against known administrative principles.

The petition also said another set of staff of the Osun State Judiciary were arrested, investigated and prosecuted in 2020 over alleged stealing of office materials and that the staff were later discharged and acquitted by court but the verdict, which ordered their reinstatement and restoration of their salaries and allowances was not disobeyed.

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