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SUSPENDED EKITI CJ ALLEGES OFFICE INVASION BY COLLEAGUE

By NBF News
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THE dust raised by the 2006 impeachment of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, may be far from being settled.

Reason:  Justice Kayode Bamishile, the suspended chief judge (CJ) of the state, has petitioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, alleging that the new Acting Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramaola, unlawfully broke into his office in the state capital, Ado Ekiti.

In the petition, dated December 23, 2010, the suspended chief judge urged the Chief Justice to call Justice Daramola to order and to investigate the alleged invasion.

The petition Stated that Daramola, who was sworn in on Monday, December 20, 2010, as the Acting Chief Judge of Ekiti State, barely 24 hours after his swearing in, allegedly broke into the substantive Chief Judge of Ekiti State's chambers on December 21, 2010, without a court order or without demanding for the key of the chambers from the substantive Chief Judge, Bamisile.

Following his suspension in 2006, Justice Bamishile went to the Federal High Court Akure, where he sued the National Judicial Commission (NJC).

In the suit, Bamishile prayed the court to declare his suspension illegal and to order his immediate return as the state CJ.

The court, in its judgment, affirmed Bamishile as the state CJ, but upheld his suspension by the NJC.

The suspended CJ, dissatisfied with the failure of the Federal High Court to lift his suspension, went on appeal at the Court of Appeal in Benin.

The matter is still pending at the appellate court when the alleged invasion of his office took place.

Bamishile explained that successive administration in the state, in obedience of the judgment of the Akure Court and the rule of law, had only been appointing Acting CJ.  The embattled CJ said none of the two acting chief judges appointed since his legal tussle with NJC had ever attempted to operate from his office or took it over by force.

He named the two acting judges as Justices Modupe Fasanmi and Salias Oyewole.

He noted that Daramola neither got a court order empowering him to break open his office, nor sought his permission.

The suspended CJ said: 'We hereby appeal to you to kindly use your good offices to call Justice Ayodeji Daramola to order…'

However, the state government has not been able  to confirm or deny the alleged illegal invasion of the CJ's office.

In an interview over the phone on the matter, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Mojeed Jamiu, said: 'I am not the CJ. I don't work in the judiciary, but I have been trying to get in touch with the office of the CJ.'

When The Guardian called again to find out the outcome of his finding at the CJ office, Jamiu said: 'My brother, I don't want to react. I don't have any reaction.'