By Dapo Akinrefon
FAMILY of the former Ekiti State chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), late Chief Omolafe Aderiye, who was murdered by gunmen shortly before Governor Ayodele Fayose was sworn in 2014, has petitioned the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, alleging that the judge handling the trial of accused persons has compromised.
In a three-page petition, written on behalf of the family by Samson Aderiye and submitted to the CJ, the family said: “The entire member of the family are aggrieved by the way the judge is handling the case. I have been following the case with other members of the family from the beginning when the accused persons were paraded as the killers of late Chief Aderiye. I have also been attending court with other members of the Aderiye family.
”The matter got to a worrisome level when on 7th day of October, 20115, Okeowo Gbolahan, the Personal Assistant to late Chief Omolafe Aderiye testified, Justice Ogunmoye adjourned the case to 26th October, 2015 for cross examination instead of allowing him to be cross-examined immediately.”
Reacting to the development, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ekiti State, Dr. Foluke Dada, who was one of the parties copied, said: “I received a copy of the letter but we don’t want to comment on what is going on in the court now. Interestingly the letter was addressed to the Chief judge of the state and other parties were copied. We have made effort to contact the Aderiye family but we haven’t been able to access the address they gave on the letter.’
”We hope that the CJ would do the needful by investigating the judge they have appointed.
“Sir, before 26/10/2015, I was reliably informed that Justice Ogunmoye brokered “peace” between the witness who had earlier testified as an eye-witness and the accused persons’ family on the ground that they were from the same Ekiti and this led the witness to change everything he had earlier said in his testimony.
According to the family, “Our lawyer applied to call the witnesses but before that could happen, Justice Ogunmoye gave the ruling on 15th December, 2015 refusing the application from our lawyer.”
Aderiye’s family alleged further that: “The accused persons were bragging in town that Justice Ogunmoye would not allow the case to be reopened. And true to their position, Justice Ogunmoye refused to reopen the case to enable our lawyer call further witnesses in the matter. Consequent upon which our lawyer appealed against the decision and promptly sent the record of appeal to the court of appeal, Ado Ekiti.
They said that Justice Ogunmoye was duly informed that the record of Appeal had been sent to the court of appeal and that all application in the file must be transmitted to the court of appeal, but despite this, Justice Ogunmoye insisted on going on with the matter by taking the application for stay of proceedings: “Despite the fact that the record of proceedings has been transmitted, Justice Ogunmoye has been hearing series of application in the case which the accused persons have been able to foretell the outcome, “ they added.