Osun judiciary workers protest nonpayment of allowances, picket chief judge’s office

Members of the Osun chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) embarked on a peaceful protest on Monday in Osogbo, picketing the office of the state’s chief judge, Adepele Ojo.

They demanded reasons for the delay in paying their wardrobe allowances since 2021, despite funding from the state government.

They also demanded reasons for the unlawful suspension of some JUSUN members from office for upwards of 57 months without proper investigation.

The unionists also demanded an explanation about the stoppage of training for judiciary workers at the National Judicial Institute despite annual budgetary allocations.

The union’s chairman,  Oluwagbemiga Eludire, told journalists picketing Ms Ojo’s office had nothing to do with her suspension from office on Thursday and the reversal on Sunday.

Governor Ademola Adeleke announced the suspension of Ms Ojo from office on Thursday but reversed it on Sunday after a public uproar condemning the initial action.

In a statement in Osogbo on Thursday, Mr Adeleke’s spokesman, Olawale Rasheed, said the governor approved Ms Ojo’s suspension after the resolution of the state’s House of Assembly.

He stated that the house resolution was to give the legislature room to investigate its misconduct allegations, abuse of power, corruption and disregard for the rule of law against the chief judge.

Mr Rasheed stated that Mr Adeleke also approved the appointment of Justice Olayinka Afolabi as the acting chief judge of the state.

He stated that Mr Adeleke had directed his deputy, Kola Adewusi, to swear in Mr Afolabi in an acting capacity, pending approval by the National Judicial Council (NJC) in Abuja.

The swearing-in did not hold, however, as Mr Adewusi, scheduled to oversee the event, and Mr Afolabi, the acting chief judge, did not show up at the exercise venue on Friday.

The NJC also did not give approval for the suspension of Ms Ojo and for her replacement by Justice Afolabi.

On Sunday, the governor denied suspending Ms Ojo from office.

He said he only forwarded the resolution of the House of Assembly asking the chief judge to “step aside’’ pending the investigation of the allegation of corruption against her.