Osun lawmakers set up panel on petition by judge against Aregbesola



• PDP, coalition decry commitee’s compostion
Osun State House of Assembly has set up a seven-man adhoc committee to investigate the contents of a petition by a serving judge in the state judiciary, Justice Olamide Folahanmi Oloyede who is seeking the removal of Governor Rauf Aregbesola for alleged mismanagement of the state resources.

The hearing of the petition would however be conducted in camera contrary to public clamour that proceedings on the petition should be conducted in the open and also transmitted live.

Besides, members of the committee were drawn mainly from the ruling All Progressives Congress in the house but an opposition member in the house, Oladejo Makinde representing Ife Central constituency expressed reservation and lack of confidence in the committee.

The speaker of the assembly, Najeem Salam at a news briefing held yesterday in the chamber of the assembly listed members of the committee comprising Akintunde Adegboye representing Osogbo state constituency as chairman of the committee.

Other members of the committee included Timothy Owoeye representing Ilesa East state constituency, Oladoyin Olayinka (Ife South constituency), Afolabi Olalekan [Ifelodun state constituency}, Adeleke Ogunsola {Ayedire state constituency}, Gbola Adebayo [Olorunda state constituency] and Akinola Olasunkanmi {Irewole state constituency}.

The House Director, legislative matters, Simeon Akinwale Amusan and his counterpart saddled with legal services, Kayode Titiloye are to serve as secretariat to the committee.

The committee has two weeks to work and submit its report to the assembly, which the speaker said would later be subjected to open debate by members.

The speaker, who disclosed that the assembly received Governor Aregbesola’s response to the petition on Tuesday, said both the petitioner and the accused would be invited in person to appear before the committee to defend themselves.

He said that the petition was referred to the committee for investigation in view of its magnitude and the fact that it was the first time the house would receive such a document.

Salam had earlier over-ruled a question seeking to know whether the opposition members were satisfied with the composition of the committee but after rising from the chamber, the minority leader, Makinde representing Ife Central state constituency queried the composition saying they did not have confidence in the committee.

He also faulted the excuse of experience offered by the speaker in the selection of members of the committee pointing out that the decision was a deliberate attempt to sideline the opposition in the process of hearing the petition.

“This house has promised to be fair and meticulous in hearing the petition, but how can we ensure justice if none of the opposition members in house participate in the work of the committee on such a sensitive issue,” he queried.

Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party has also rejected the composition of the committee set up by the assembly.

The party, in a statement by Diran Odeyemi, the PDP director of media and strategy, said, “lawmakers were not clever enough by deliberately leaving out members of the opposition in the house out of the committee.”

The PDP said the lawmakers were acting the script allegedly prepared by Aregbesola and are now at the second stage of their plans.

The statement reads: “Osun APC lawmakers are now at the second stage of their script. The first stage was to write Aregbesola to defend self; the second stage would be to invite him and the petitioner. At the third stage, Aregbesola will be called to come and play to the gallery in defense; they will then rubbish the petition and recommend the petitioner for disciplinary action and removal as judge.

“The whole world knows the lawmakers lack the courage to deal with the issues raised by the petitioners, but they have exposed themselves as puppets and mere rubber stamps in the hands of the governor with the composition of the probe committee.

“While we implore APC lawmakers to have it at the back of their minds that they will forever remain in the wrong side of history for helping the enemy of Osun people plot way out of trap he has arrogantly walked into, PDP also reminded the lawmakers that the same petition they are about to gloss over is with EFCC, ICPC, Transparency International and other national and international agencies, who are expecting thorough investigation from the lawmakers.”

Meanwhile, a group, Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEO) has stated that the investigative committee set up by the House of Assembly to look into the allegations was unacceptable in a democratic dispensation.

A statement by the group signed by its Chairman, Adeniyi Sulaiman, noted that the speaker pledged that the parliament would be fair and thorough in investigating all the issues raised with a view to reaching a logical end which would give all parties concerned a sense of justice without fear or favour cannot be sincere going by those he selected to be members of the committee.

CSCEO said: “The composition of the investigative panel does not reflect this assertion as all the seven members are from the ruling APC despite the fact that the assembly consists of representatives of the people from other political parties.

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  • Babalakin

    Like kangaroo panel or something? A man cannot be the judge in his own case. We need a better system to work things and not this present one. An independent panel would be more appropriate.

  • Naijalova

    The state is broke period, independent panel cost money, the only way to address the issue is to reduce spending , reduce salary, lay off workers and if they have been on strike for this long and the state is still functioning may be he needs to look at layoffs, generate more funds, make the state attractive to investors