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Ekiti Crisis: PDP Accuses CJ of Partisanship over Petition against Fayose

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Following indictment of the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose,  in a petition written to the National Judicial Council (NJC) on crisis rocking the state judiciary,  the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the state Chief Judge (CJ), Justice Ayodeji Daramola, of partisanship and bias.

The party, however, advised  Justice  Ayodeji “to face the truth and stop being biased  in the interest of the sanctity of the judiciary.”
A statement signed  by the  state Publicity Secretary of the party, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, yesterday, accused the CJ of allegedly amplifying beyond proportion, the true situation of things on what actually transpired last Thursday when  a trial judge, Justice John Adeyeye, was allegedly beaten and  harassed by suspected party thugs.

Oluwawole added that the subsequent  closure of the courts by the CJ was allegedly meant to achieve certain premeditated political scheming and to  blow the crisis out of proportion and create the impression that the lives of the honourable judges were no longer safe.
The CJ had in a petition to the Chairman of the NJC, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, alleged that the governor-elect personally led the thugs who beat up Justice   Adeyeye  during the trial of case instituted by a group called E-11 , challenging  Fayose’s qualification  to participate in the June 21 governorship election.

Explaining  Fayose’s side of the alleged attack on Justice Adeyeye, Oluwawole said: “On the alleged assault on Justice  Adeyeye last Thursday, it was reported that the judge told Fayose (who came to attend the tribunal sitting) to warn his thugs. That reportedly took place at the court premises, not inside Justice Adeyeye’s chamber or court.

“Firstly, Justice Adeyeye reportedly addressed law-abiding Nigerians, who came to the court to observe proceedings as thugs. Isn’t that wrong? Secondly, Fayose was in the court premises, not inside any courtroom, meaning that Justice Adeyeye came out of his chamber or court to address people who were possibly being unruly at the court.

“Now we wish to ask, is it the duty of a judge to check unruly crowd in the court premises? Definitely no! Thirdly, if indeed Justice Adeyeye was assaulted by the ‘unruly crowd,’ was he assaulted because they knew he was a judge? Was Justice Adeyeye carrying identification as a judge on his head? Definitely no!

“Most importantly, who says the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi could not have planted some hoodlums in the crowd while the hoodlums set up by the state government were the ones who assaulted the judge?

“Obviously, Justice Daramola shut down the courts in the state for reasons other than what happened in the Ado-Ekiti High Court premises last Monday and Thursday. Only Justice Daramola can tell Nigerians why he shut down the courts in the state because even when  there weere gunshots in Lokoja on January 23, 2012, the Kogi State Chief Judge did not shut the courts,” he clarified.

Oluwawole further explained   that  the disruption of  court proceedings was not new in Nigeria, “especially in political cases, citing instances in the election tribunal sittings in Ondo State that was disrupted on March 18, 2013, when supporters of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Labour Party (LP) clashed with four persons severely injured.

“On January 23, 2012, supporters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and  ACN clashed at the premises of the governorship election petition tribunal in Lokoja, Kogi State, with one person shot and three others injured.

“The same also happened on January 6, 2012, when some persons were injured in a commotion between the supporters of Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State and his predecessor Alhaji Akwe Doma at  the Court of Appeal in Makurdi. In all the three instances mentioned above, courts in the states were not shut down while no judge came out of his chamber to ‘warn’ the party supporters,” he concluded.

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