For daring to write a petition to the Osun state House of Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori for allegedly mismanaging the state’s resources, Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede of the High Court in the state has been recommended for compulsory retirement by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The council under the lead¬ership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mo¬hammed, took the decision at the end of its meeting last Friday. The NJC in its statement reads in part: “Justice Oloyede crossed the fundamental right of freedom of speech and created a negative perception of the Nigerian judiciary to the public. The allegations against the judge constitute misconduct contrary to Section 292(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended and Rules 1(1) and 5 of the 2016 Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The call for the sacking of the judge began when the Osun Civil Societies Coalition petitioned the National Judicial Council, NJC, alleging that she over-stepped her limit as she failed to conduct herself in such a manner as to preserve the dignity of her office being an impartial and independent organ, thereby exposing the judiciary to ridicule and disrepute.
It will be recalled that the petition written by the judge in 2015 was said to contain political statements, unsubstantiated allegations and accusations aimed at deriding, demeaning and undermining the government of Osun State, the person and character of the governor (as one who is cruel, a liar and a traitor), his deputy and aides. The council also found that the petition contained statements calculated to incite the residents of Osun State against the state government and its elected officers.