By Gbenga Olarinoye
Osogbo — Osun State House of Assembly, yesterday dismissed the petition by Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori over an allegation of mismanagement of the state resources, saying it was fictitious, frivolous and baseless.
In an unanimous decision, the house stated that the petition lacked merit, based on emotion and did not follow due process.
Oloyede had, in a 39-page petition sent to the House of Assembly highlighted, according to her, constitutional breaches of the governor and demanded his investigation and possible impeachment by the House.
The House subsequently set up a seven-member panel chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Adegboye Akintunde, to investigate the allegations and report its finding.
But the House, after adopting the report of the panel said the allegations raised by Justice Oloyede in her petition were mere embodiments of emotions and that she was political, making the House to align itself with the recommendations of the panel that the petition be dismissed.
Earlier, while reading the report, Hon Akintunde Adegboye said the committee, upon receipt of the petition found that it failed to meet the demands of House on any petition that would be considered for investigation.
He added that the committee, however refrained from dismissing it on technical ground so as not to look like the Assembly was shielding the governor from investigation.
He further explained that despite its magnanimity in allowing the petition to be considered, the petitioner again ran foul of Order 26 of Osun State House of Assembly by sending representatives on the day she was to appear before the panel.
Dealing with all issues raised in the petition, the chairman of the panel, said the petitioner could not present any documents to back up her claims, saying Oloyede, through her counsel said she would only appear and present documents when copy of Aregbesola’s response was given to her.
The committee therefore recommended that the petition submitted by Justice Oloyede Olamide Folahanmi should be dismissed on the grounds that;
“The petitioner abandoned her claims by refusing to appear personally before the ad-hoc committee to substantiate the various allegations levelled against the Governor and his deputy in her petition. Besides, the representatives of the petitioner could not produce any document to substantiate the allegations during their appearance.
“The Committee tapped wisdom from a decided Supreme Court case wherein it was asserted that a plaintiff succeeds on the strength of his or her claims and not on the weakness of the defence. To this effect, where the appellants failed to establish their claims, the trial court held that they weren’t entitled to the relief sought.
“The petition submitted by Justice Oloyede is frivolous, fictitious and baseless because the various allegations contained therein were based on rumours and hearsay;
“The petitioner insisted that her appearance would be predicated on having a copy of Mr. Governor’s response to her petition. This amounted to the petitioner giving condition for her appearance before the House. Her action was considered to be against the standing rules, conventions or even international best practices anywhere, including the Court of law;
“The petition brought forward by her was against all known legal norms and ethics for a sitting judge to publicly take a political position. Her action was unprecedented. Judges require sobriety to be able to dispassionately attend to cases before them and they therefore cannot afford to be emotional; and;
“Her petition was an embodiment of emotions and political partisanship; and that the State Judicial Service Commission should be requested to institute necessary disciplinary action against the petitioner, having observed that the attitude of Justice Oloyede Olamide Folahanmi was unethical and unbecoming of a serving Judge in the State Judiciary.”
Civil Societies fault Solanke, Sagay over comments
The Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State CSCEO has faulted Chief (Mrs) Folake Solanke and Professor Itse Sagay over their comments on petition written by a serving Osun state judge, Justice Olamide Oloyede against Governor Aregbesola.
The group described the statement by the two senior lawyers as a predetermined mere opinion over an issue of national importance and was made to save their Aregbesola in the face of the whole world over his financial recklessness and mismanagement of Osun commonwealth.
CSCEO noted that the statement adduced to both Solanke and Sagay was not only in bad taste but very unfortunate, anti-masses, ungodly, evil and uncalled for.
Besides, the group in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman, the Deputy Secretary, Comrade Bukola Idowu and the Director of Mobilisation, Rev. Theophilus Ayodeji accused the duo of deliberate plan to incite the National Judicial Council, NJC.