Osun lawyer files sixth suit in court against Aregbesola
An Osun based lawyer, Barrister Kanmi Ajibola on Tuesday, December 6, 20116 instituted another suit against the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, making his actions in the law court against the governor six in number.
The rights activist lawyer in the fresh legal action filed at the Osun State High Court, Osogbo asked the court to grant an order of mandamus compelling the governor to provide full information about all the funds accruable and released to the state judiciary from both the state and federal governments from November 2010 to date.
He further urged the court to compel the governor to release all the funds accruable to the state judiciary from both the state and the federal governments to it as and when due every month.
Ajibola noted by the provisions of the nation’s constitution, financial independence was created for the judiciary but he discovered that in Osun State, the governor was running “a fused financial account between the judiciary and the executive organs”.
In a 35-paragraph affidavit in support of his motion Ajibola stated he believed strongly that the governor who is the respondent in the case was “turning the Osun State judiciary to a financial stooge” and that “this will adversely affect the course of justice in the state”.
“I am having five different cases against the respondent in different courts in Osun State bothering on unconstitutional mis-governance and others, and the respondent having made the state judiciary to be at his financial mercy, I strongly entertain a great fear that he will use his power over the funds of the judiciary to curry favour from the judiciary to himself.
“In one of the official functions of the respondent, he gave an insinuation that he has Osun State judiciary in his hand and under his control.
“I strongly believe that the power and control of the Governor of Osun state over the funds of the the state judiciary will inhibit the course of justice and it will adversely affect my right to fair hearing in my pending case before the Courts in Osun State.
“I believe that the respondent wrongly possesses financial power and control over the judiciary in Osun State, this will directly adversely affect my right to fair hearing if the judiciary does not have the full-fledged financial independence to enable it dispense true justice against the respondent”.
According to him, apart from the fact that this act was against the governor’s oath of office, he stated that by virtue of Sections 1 (1-3) and 2 (1-2) of the Freedom of Information Act, the governor is under obligation to release all information to the public.
“I submit frontally that, if one arm of government is subjected to the financial power and control of the other, there is not true separation of powers and independence between or among such organs of government.
“In the instant case, the constitution of Nigeria does not state or envisage that the executive arm of the government should be the financial boss of the judicial arm of the government”, he stated.
Some of the on-going cases between Aregbesola and Ajibola included suit against the sack of 678 workers in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo and the suit asking for the disclosure of the state debt profile and full account of the government financial spending.
Others are matters filed by the activist lawyer challenging the constitutionality of the law made by the “State of Osun” on tenement rate, the suit challenging the non appointment of commissioners by Aregbesola in the last two years and the suit restraining the governor from “importation” of Osun Chief Judge (CJ) from Lagos.