Wednesday 22 November 2023



The crisis rocking the Osun State Judiciary has assumed another dimension as workers declared indefinite strike after they were forcefully dispersed by Police teargas during a protest at the court premises.

Radio Nigeria correspondent reports that the incident occured while the Chief Judge was being led into the court premises by the police for a meeting. 

The protesters who commenced the action on Monday again converged on the major entrance of the court this morning chanting solidarity songs with placards containing various inscriptions including Judiciary staff deserves better treatment", "We are tired of oppression and stagnation", "Unlawful suspension of Judiciary staff without recourse to Judicial Service Commission is barbaric" and "Unlawful Dismissal of judiciary staff against the public service rules" among others.

Problem started when the Chief Judge, Justice Adepele-Ojo drove in but was denied access to the Court premises by the protesting workers, but for the police intervention which opened the gate and provided security cover for her as she went straight to her office.

Apparently dissatisfied by the police allowing the Chief Judge entrance into the premises, the protesters became unruly and all persuasion made by the leader of the police team identified as  Oyegade fell on the deaf ears of the protesters,a development which compelled the officer to order teargasing of the protesters.

As if that was not enough, Mr Oyegade who is the DPO attached Dugbe Police station also ordered his men to face the direction of Journalists who had moved to the other side of the road, close to the Osun State government house leading to injury of two camera men and four reporters

The protesting Judiciary workers who according to their Chairman, Mr. Oluwagbemiga Eludire, were on the court following the meeting summoned by the Conference of judges on Wednesday.

Addressing Journalists shortly after the incident, Mr Eludire described the incident as an attack on the workers.

With the action of the police , teargassing us, it is clear the Chief Judge has declared war on us. Since the Chief Judge had declared was, I hereby direct our members to leave their works and withdraw their services from their various stations until further directive by me."

Reacting to the development, the Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, Osogbo branch, Mr Yemi Abiona said it was uncivil the attempt of the court staff to assault the Chief Judge, neither did the situation warrant such use of force by the Police.

Recall that members of the Judiciary Staff Union in Osun State had on Monday locked the entrance of the court and picketed the office of the Chief Judge in protest against the Chief Judge and the management over the suspension of some staff for over three years among other issues.

The protest is coming amidst controversy over alleged removal of the Chief Judge by Governor Ademola Adeleke and the appointment of an acting Chief Judge, Justice Olayinka Afolabi acting on a resolution of the House of Assembly and the later denial of the Governor of such removal and appointment.

Isaac Haastrup reporting 

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