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Kwara ex-Chief Judge booed by staff

By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN— Former Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Raliat Helelu-Habeeb, had a raw deal in the hands of her former staff yesterday when she suddenly appeared with her orderly at the premises of the state high court in Ilorin as she was booed by the staff numbering about 30.

Justice Helelu-Habeeb was said to have arrived the court premises while the Acting Chief Judge, Justice Olatunji Bamgbola, was said to be on official duty in one of the adjoining offices. It was gathered that as the staff rebuffed her presence and booed her, she quickly drove away in her Peugeot 607 car.

Contacted, she confirmed that she went to see the acting chief judge based on the judgment she received last Thursday.

“It is true that I went to the court today, but I went to meet the acting chief judge based on the judgment I received. She is a judicial officer, I am a judicial officer, my discussion with her was private,” she said.
Efforts to further make her speak on the matter, however, proved abortive.

Governor Bukola Saraki had recommended that the former Chief Judge be relieved of her post for alleged constitutional breeches, which was subsequently approved by the state House of Assembly.

But justice Raliat Habeeb Elelu headed for federal high court to challenge her removal, which she described as illegal, and the court granted all her reliefs last week Thursday

The state government had since appealed against the judgement. Mr Smith Adeleye, a principal Assistant registrar who spoke with journalists on behalf of the aggrieved staff displaying placards noted that they were embarrassed by her action, saying “ it is an embarrassment not only to the judiciary in the state but to the country at large.

She has been removed, if she has got judgment, there is an appeal against it, and she knows what to do, why is she forcing herself on us’’

Counsel to the Kwara State House of Assembly, Mr Kehinde Eleja who was also around during the incident  spoke on the development . He expressed surprise at the appearance of the former  state Chief Judge who allegedly wanted to assume duties based on the judgment she got last week Thursday

According to him,’’if judgement is given in your favour, you must at least wait for three working days before taking action based on the judgment, it is just two working days. I am surprised that the lordship came here, honestly there are procedures.

I would have expected that enroll order be obtained to inform them of her intention to resume, the enrol order ought to be served on the court registrar and also on the state government, also on the Federal Attorney General, they all need to be served the enroll order, all these were sidetracked.

If somebody has resumed  as Acting Chief Judge and somebody is resuming based on a purported judgement, there could be chaos ’’


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