By Dayo Johnson, Akure
CRISIS is brewing in Ondo State judiciary over the alleged continued stay in office by Justice Temitayo Osoba as acting Chief Judge of the state allegedly in violation of the1999 Constitution (as amended) .
A human right lawyer, Femi Emmanuel-Emodamori, in a letter addressed to Osoba and copied to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the NJC, the state House of Assembly and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, said that Section 271(5) of the Constitution does not allow anybody to be in acting capacity as Chief Judge of a state for more than three months.
He pointed out: “Since Justice Osoba’s appointment has not been confirmed by the state Assembly and the NJC since she was sworn-in on 23rd January, 2017 by former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, it is illegal for her to continue to breach the Constitution by occupying the position”.
Emmanuel-Emodamori therefore asked Akeredolu to do the needful within seven days.
According to him allowing her to continue beyond the period prescribed by the Constitution was unacceptable.
While the acting Chief Judge could not be reached for her comment, his aide, who spoke anonymously, said she would not dignify the alleged petitioner with a response.
He pointed out that the Chief Judge would respond when the appropriate authorities needed clarifications on the matter.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the crisis in the state House of Assembly was responsible for the delay in the confirmation or otherwise of the acting CJ.
The state governor, according to sources close to the Government House, Akure, is expected to forward her name to the House any moment from now following the resolution of the over three month leadership crisis in the hallowed chamber.