October 15, 2014

Ekiti courts re-open as securitymen keep vigil

Ekiti courts re-open as securitymen  keep vigil

two soldiers maning a road block along Ado-Iyin Ekiti road. Pic by Dare Fasube

By Gbenga Ariyibi

Ado Ekiti—Courts in Ekiti State which had been under lock and key for the past three weeks have been official re-opened.

However, there was noticeable presence of heavy armed security operatives mostly soldiers, mobile policemen and officials of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, at the court premises.

The Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Justice Ayodeji Daramola had on 25 September this year ordered the closure of the court after the disruption of the court and alleged harassment of some judges.

Apparently acting on the order of the National Judicial Council, NJC, the Chief Judge has through a statement signed by the Chief Registrar,Obafemi Fasanmi ordered the immediate re-opening of the courts

When Vanguard visited the courts yesterday, workers, however, did not report for duty as members of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, were on strike called by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress over unpaid salaries and allowances.

Those who refused to turn-up for duty included court bailiffs, court clerks and registry personnel among several others.

The statement advised persons having one case or another to pursue at the courts to use the opportunity to come back for adjudication.

Vanguard gathered that the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which earlier adjourned till Tuesday could not seat as a result of the development.

Also, the Public Relations Officer of the State Police Command, Victor Babayemi said the continued presence of armed personnel at the Judiciary headquarters was in accordance with the directive of the NJC to the Acting Inspector General of Police that adequate security be provided for Judges and staff in Ekiti courts.

Vanguard gathered that the Chief Judge of Ekiti State, about three weeks ago, ordered the closure of all the courts in the state as a result of attacks on Judges and some court workers by persons suspected to be political thugs.