If reports coming in from Kogi State, are anything to go by, then the Chief justice of the state, Justice Nasir Ajanah, will be sacked soon and removed from his position by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as alleged by the Judicial arm of the state. This has caused a big friction between the executive and judiciary arms of government in the state
In a statement which was issued by the judicial service on Tuesday, and was signed by Saqeeb Saeed, Senior Information Officer, Kogi State Judiciary, they raised the allegation that the plot being hatched by the governor of the state to remove Ajanah as the state’s chief judge, is to be carried out using the speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, who would then illegally remove the chief law officer in the state.
The statement read: “Events in the last few days have made it necessary for the Kogi State Judiciary to issue this press statement. The Kogi State Judiciary is aware of clandestine moves by His Excellency, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to use the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly to illegally remove the Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Nasiru Ajanah, from office over some trumped up allegations.
“This dangerous and ill-advised move is coming from the executive inspite of the fact that the matter is now before the National Judicial Council (NJC), and there is a subsisting court order restraining the governor from doing so.
“The governor is advised not to do anything that will plunge the state into an unnecessary constitutional crisis. Rather, he should obey the rule of law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which he swore to uphold.
“Meanwhile workers of the judiciary should remain calm, as the rule of law shall prevail at the end.”
As at the time of filing the report, activities at the state assembly indicate there are moves in the offing to ease Ajanah out from office as the Kogi CJ.
It would be recalled that judicial staff members in the state had on Monday marched through some major streets of the capital, Lokoja, protesting the alleged plan to sack Ajanah as CJ.
The speaker, Prince Mathew Kolawole, had however denied knowledge of such plan.
Kolawole who was at the government house on Monday, responded to reporters’ enquiry on the issue in the negative, saying he was unaware of the name(s) of such person(s) making the allegations.
This calls to mind the case of the Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari, after a case was brought against him to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.