Osun State Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has suspended Justice Adepele Ojo as the chief judge of the state, appointing Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting chief judge with immediate effect.
The development comes in spite of an order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Ibadan on Thursday which restrained the Osun government from terminating the appointment of Justice Ojo as chief judge.
Justice J. D. Peter of the NIC had also ordered the government to continue to pay the salary entitlements, emoluments and other benefits of the chief judge.
However, Adeleke’s appointment of Afolabi followed the resolution of the state House of Assembly on Thursday for the suspension of Ojo over allegations of misconduct.
Deputy Governor Kola Adewusi was directed to perform the swearing-in ceremony of the Acting Chief Judge on Friday.
The assembly asked Ojo to step aside pending investigation of allegations of misconduct, abuse of power, corruption and disregard for rule of law against her.
A statement by Olawale Rasheed, spokesperson of the governor, said that the appointment of Olayinka as acting CJ was sequel to the approval of the resolution of the assembly by the governor.
The lawmakers had resolved at plenary that the next in order of seniority to Ojo be sworn-in immediately to avoid any vacuum in the third arm of government.
According to the lawmakers, the CJ should step aside, not for any disciplinary action, but to allow for proper investigation of the allegations.
The assembly resolved that the executive should immediately notify the National Judicial Council and the State Judicial Service Commission of its resolutions.
It directed its Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and Legal Matters to investigate the chief judge by inviting her within seven days from Thursday.