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Withdraw from my case, embattled deputy speaker tells Ondo Chief Judge

Ogundeji Iroju, embattled deputy speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly says the Chief Judge of the State should withdraw from his case for “impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice”.


AKURE – Ogundeji Iroju, embattled deputy speaker, Ondo State House of Assembly says the Chief Judge of the State should withdraw from his case for “impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice”.

Iroju on Monday sought the transfer of his case against the state assembly from the newly appointed Chief Judge of the state, Justice Williams Akintoroye to another judge.

He was purportedly impeached last year following the crisis that erupted in the Assembly in the build-up to the October 2020 governorship election where he kicked against a move to impeach the then deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi.

The leadership of the assembly had claimed that 20 of the twenty-six members signed the impeachment. He had approached the State high court seeking redress.

Iroju in a letter addressed to the state chief Judgesaid he was no longer comfortable with what he described as fraternization of the Chief Judge with the defendants in the case before him.

The full text of Iroju’s letter;

I wish to humbly request for the transfer of my case from your Lordship’s court to another court for a number of reasons:

  1. The recent elevation and appointment of your Lordship as the Chief Judge will preoccupy your Lordship with a lot of administrative duties which will definitely hamper the speedy prosecution of the case.
  2. Your lordship has expressed doubt that the case will end in your court when Your Lordship emphatically mentioned in the open court that you hope the case will end at the end of the new legal year (October 2022). A case that had been filed since 1st of December, 2020, which is time bound is yet to be heard and the Head of Court cannot guarantee that such case will be concluded in another one year.
  3. During your Lordship’s confirmation as the Chief Judge on Tuesday, 28th of September, 2021 at the floor of the House, your Lordship expressly praised the speaker of the ODHA and his ‘deputy’ despite having the knowledge that the position of a Deputy Speaker is in contention before your Lordship. Your Lordship expressly said that ”the House was stable in recent times because of the harmony between the Speaker and the’ Deputy Speaker’. The House that is divided against itself will never hold. Affliction will not rise (in the House of Assembly) the second time.”
  4. The express interpretation of this statement is a direct reference to my estranged relationship with the Speaker as his deputy, whose unlawful impeachment case is pending before your Lordship.
  5. The speaker of the ODHA, Right Honourable Bamidele Oleyelogun and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice who are defendants and counsel in the matter boasted to me that my case had been settled with your Lordship, more so when your Lordship on the floor of the House of Assembly during your confirmation hearing, promised to work in harmony with the Legislative arm of Government. The Attorney-General almost asaaulted me immediately we left your court and confidently told me ‘You think you can win this case in court?’ Court officials and other lawyers witnessed this behavior unbecoming of a Chief Law Officer of a State. The Attorney-General’s behaviour is very suggestive.
  6. It may interest your Lordship to note that the Court Registrar openly announced to lawyers and litigants present in court on 5th October, 2021, that only part-heard cases in court 2 (your former court) will be heard in the present court 1, and that all other cases have been retained in court 2.
    My case is not part-heard as your Lordship had ordered pleadings to be filed and in accordance with the directive of the court, pleadings had just be completed. Trial has not commenced and no witness has been called. Listing my case to commence hearing in your court contrary to court 2 as specified by the Court clearly suggests interest by the court.
  7. Consequently, and coupled with the incessant adjournment since first of December, 2020, I am not confident that I will get justice from your Lordship’s court. This is more so that Your Lordship’s interest is highly suggestive of possible interest, bias and prejudice. The video recording of your Lordship’s statement is available on request.
  8. Further to the above submissions therefore, I hereby apply that this case be taken to another Judge for impartial adjudication and quick dispensation of justice.
  9. I wish your lordship a successful tenure.

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