By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has faulted a claim by the Chief Judge (CJ) of Ondo State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu that he was working with Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and others to remove her from office.
Justice Akeredolu made the allegation in a suit she filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja, in respect of which the court has restrained Governor Akeredolu and other defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2016/2021 from taking any further steps that could hurt the plaintiff’s interest.
The defendants in the suit are the AGF, the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ondo State Governor, Ondo State Attorney General (AG), the state’s House of Assembly and the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Justice Akeredolu claimed in the suit that the third to fifth defendants (the state governor, Attorney General and House of Assembly) have vowed to remove her from office on account of allegations by Olupelumi Fagboyegun (her relative) who, in a viral video accused the CJ of being instrumental to his alleged detention for three years in connection with a disagreement over a family property.
The Ondo CJ further alleged, in a supporting affidavit, that the third to fifth defendants have elicited the political support of the first and sixth defendants (the AGF and IGP) “to illegally remove her from office when she has not been investigated by the second defendant (NJC) which has the constitutional duty to do so.”She added that the first, third to sixth defendants “are planning to and will use unlawful means to remove her from office as Chief Judge of Ondo State and interfere with the performance of her judicial functions unless this court intervenes.”
In a counter affidavit filed on March 9, the office of the AGF faulted Justice Oluwatoyin’s claims in the suit in relation to the AGF. The office of the AGF said the averments in the supporting affidavit, as it relates to AGF are based on the deponent’s “personal opinion and speculative in nature.”
It prayed the court to, in the interest of justice, dismiss the application filed by the plaintiff.
At the last mention of the case on March 11, Justice Inyang Ekwo rescheduled the planned hearing of the plaintiff’s motion for interlocutory injunctions to March 22.
– The Nation