Tuesday, August 25, 2015 4:39 pm
The Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State, CSCEO, a civil rights group based in Osun State, western Nigeria, on Tuesday cautioned the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, against diminishing the integrity of the National Judicial Commission, NJC, over issues relating to the marital status of Justice Folahanmi Oloyede.
The group also warned the NJC not to give room to politicians to dent its image going by the body’s “unfortunate involvement” in the matter.
In a statement in Osogbo, the Osun state capital, and signed by Comrade Adeniyi Sulaiman and Rev. Theophilus Ayodeji, its Chairman and its Director of Mobilisation, respectively, the coalition expressed shock that Justice Mohammed, who is also the chairman of the NJC, would, in the first instance, treat a petition sent to the NJC by one Mrs. Emily Richard-Obire claiming that Justice Oloyede snatched her husband.
The statement said going by the query dated 28 July, 2015 to Justice Oloyede, “it appeared that the NJC was falling into the antics of politicians by turning the NJC into a customary court where marital issues are being settled.” The group asked: “Is it not an irony that several serious issues and many petitions bordering on judicial misconducts against many judges across the country are before the NJC unattended to, yet, the NJC had all the time to intervene in a marital matter of Justice Oloyede. If this matter had been on with Justice Oloyede since 2011 as claimed by Mrs. Emily Obire, why was she coming out now in 2015 to send a petition to the NJC and at a time she was fighting this battle with Mr. Rauf Aregbesola? Justice Oloyede has the right to love and marry whoever she wants under the law and has the right to practise her religion without any hindrance.
The group added: “We wonder how many family matters NJC will need to settle among several judges in the federation. We understand the diversionary tactics of Aregbesola and his cronies over the weighty evidences of corruption presented by this erudite judge against the governor. But for NJC to have fallen into this trap beats our imagination as coalition of civil societies.
Speaking on the petition written by Mrs. Richard-Obire that his former husband was snatched, the group blasted Barrister Femi Falana for helping Aregbesola to “unearth a dead matter just as to help his friend, Aregbesola to disgrace courageous Oloyede and to score cheap political points.
“Our group has thoroughly investigated that matter and found out that Mr. Falana was a lawyer to Mrs. Richard-Obire in the divorce case filed with her husband, Mr. Ricahrd Obire in 2012 at an Ikeja High Court in Lagos. Already, the case with suit number ID/473HD/2012 has been decided and the court, presided over by Justice (Mrs) L.A.M Folami had legally dissolved this marriage between Mrs Emily and her former husband and so the case remained closed. We believe that by the law of the federation, Mr. Obire has the right in the world to love whomever he wants and to marry anyone without any prejudice. Our group has it on good authority that Emily’s husband, Mr Richard Obire had to file a divorce case because he caught her wife (Emily) having an extra- marital affairs with another man outside their wedlock in Ikeja, Lagos State in year 2010. Although, we are sure that the woman judge was able to defend herself as our check at the state High Court indicated that she had replied to this query through the office of the Chairman of the State Judicial Commission.”