Post Views: 211 The Nigerian Army, on Tuesday said its high command has warned the commander in Kogi State to stay out of the ongoing face-off between...
The Nigerian Army, on Tuesday said its high command has warned the commander in Kogi State to stay out of the ongoing face-off between the State Executive and judicial arm.
The warning, the Army said, in a statement published via its official twitter handle, became necessary following receipt of “a report of the purported or planned use of soldiers to remove and eject the Kogi State Chief Judge from his official residence.”
The statement assured that the “Army Headquarters has already directed and warned the Commander in the State to stay clear of this conflict (not to interfere under any guise).”
Being “a professional and law abiding organisation, the NA hereby strongly distances itself from Kogi State conflict between the State Executive and the Judiciary,” it added, stressing that the Nigerian Army “under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai will not contemplate interfering under any guise in the internal Executive – Judiciary Conflict in Kogi State or any other State for that matter.”
Judiciary workers in the state on Monday reportedly protested an alleged plot by the State Government to remove the Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah from office, with Governor Yahaya Bello, over the weekend, said to have instructed Speaker of the State Assembly, Matthew Kolawole perfect the removal.
Kogi state Chairman of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Comrade Emmanuel Waniko, who led placard bearing workers on the protest, warned the Speaker against the plot to forcefully remove the Chief Judge.
The various placards had inscription such as: “Pay us our salary” and “Bello, you benefited from judiciary why are you fighting us.”
The chairman said by the removal plot Governor Bello is wants the Speaker to disobey a December 13, 2018 subsisting order of the State High Court, Koton-Karfe division, directing the state assembly to stay action on the ongoing impasse between the executive and judiciary arms of Kogi State.
Waniko lamented: ”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 its effort to right the wrongs being perpetuated by the governor.
“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,” he stressed.
Also commenting on the plot, National Vice President, JUSUN north central, Comrade Daniel Ola Adeniyi described it as an unlawful and wasteful venture.
He cited the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Elelu Habib vs Attorney General of the Federation, where the court stated that: “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.”
Based on this, Adeniyi warned that the illegality “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.”