Judiciary workers in Kogi State on Monday protested an alleged plot by the State Government to remove the Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah from office.
It was reliably gathered that Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello over the weekend allegedly instructed the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole to unlawfully remove the state Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah from office.
According to the source, the Speaker was also instructed by the governor to mobilised his members on Monday on how to remove the Chief Judge from office on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the state Chairman of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Comrade Emmanuel Waniko has called on the Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mathew Kolawole against the plot to illegally and forcefully remove the Chief Judge.
The judiciary workers carried various placards with inscription, “Why are you punishing us”, ” Pay us our salary”, “Bello you benefited from judiciary why are you fighting us.”
The chairman noted that the union was forced to make this call at this auspicious time following the reports reaching them on the clandestine moves by governor Yahaya Bello and his directive to the Speaker to disobey the subsisting order given on 13th December, 2018 by the High Court of Kogi State Koton-Karfe division, asking the state assembly to stay any action on the ongoing impasse between the executive and judiciary arms of Kogi State.
His words, ” We were last paid in June 2018 which makes it a total of nine months today that we are being owed our legitimate salaries. We are therefore upbeat that even after almost four months that our courts are shut down because of our ongoing strike, the state assembly would make itself available to further foster another crisis on the state through this proposed illegal removal of the Chief Judge.
The Union opined that the executive arm of Kogi State must be told that JUSUN is resolute in their effort to right the wrongs been perpetuated in the state by governor Yahaya Bello.
He called on the State Assembly to steer clear of crisis and should rather use its constitutional authority to bring sanity to the state by calling the governor to order.
“Any attempt to bring the hallowed chambers of the state judiciary into disrepute through this glaring and obvious miss governance in the state by illegally pronouncing the removal of the Chief Judge would be stoutly resisted.
“We will also use this opportunity to encourage our members and urge our judiciary officers not to fall for the antics of the clear underperforming administration of governor Yahaya Bello.
“We are aware that he has been shopping for any judge that will compromise and betray the judiciary but we have confidence in your integrity which has stood Kogi State judiciary out among other states in country.
Also speaking on the plot, the National Vice President, JOSUN north central, Comrade Daniel Ola Adeniyi said, “It is unlawful for the House to embark on such a wasteful venture. More so that there is a subsisting order of the High Court restraining the House and the Governor from doing anything pertaining subject matter “
“There is a decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Elelu Habib vs Attorney General of the Federation where the court stated as follows:
“It is not difficult to see that for the effective exercise of the powers of removal of a Chief Judge of a State by the Governor and the House of Assembly, the first PORT OF CALL by the Governor on his journey to remove a Chief Judge of the State SHALL BE National Judicial Council which is equipped with the personnel and resources to investigate the inability of the Chief Judge to discharge the functions of his office, to subject of disciplinary action for removal through the committee of the council.
“This is illegality that is bound to put the State in bad light and could result to dire consequences for the House of Assembly in view of the court order they’ve been called upon to flout,” he stated.