COURT RULES ON LADOJA'S PROBE, AUGUST 2

By NBF News
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Ladoja
Justice Waheed Olaifa of the Oyo State High Court yesterday  fixed August 2 for his ruling on the application praying the stoppage of a proposed probe of the last six months of former Governor Rasheed Ladoja in the state.

Justice Olaifa announced the date after counsel to the parties in the suit formally adopted their addresses on the matter.

Former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja had through his counsel, Lasun Sanusi instituted a case, seeking an interlocutory injunction to stop the five-member Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by his former deputy, Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala to probe the latter part of his term from sitting.

Just about two years after the end of a tenure he ran with his former boss, the state Governor Adebayo  Alao-Akala had called for probe of all the entire transactions that took place in the last six months of their government, singling out his boss for scrutiny.

The governor had on April 29,2009 constituted a five-man panel led by Akintunde Boade to examine the financial dealings that took place within the period and also to determine whether the former governor, Rashidi Ladoja had not gone beyond his brief as the state chief executive.

But, Ladoja is not only accusing the incumbent of contravening the existing law by calling for his probe, he is also praying the court to prevent the commission set up by Akala from sitting,since according to him, it was constituted illegally.

In his motion on notice, Ladoja wants the court to stop the panel from 'probing or investigating or trying any part of the tenure, pending the determination of the substantive motion.'

Ladoja also contending the law setting up the panel, was against the 1999 constitution having exempted Governor Alao-Akala, who was the deputy governor in the state during the time marked out for probe and that its terms of reference were criminal in nature, saying only the court of law, not a commission, is empowered by law to hear criminal matters.

He also faulted the decision of the government to open the probe two years after he had left office, arguing that the law stipulates that such exercise must come latest three months after the expiration of the tenure.

According to him, 'the setting up of the panel of enquiry to probe a portion of my administration is discriminatory and against the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999.'

The court is to rule on the merit of the application on August 2 before going on to hear the parties out on the substantive case on the probe.

Also joined in the suit are all members of the Commission, state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General.