Against Executive Orders, NJC Asks Ekiti Chief Judge To Reopen Courts

Against Executive Orders, NJC Asks Ekiti Chief Judge To Reopen Courts

Against executive orders to the police for courts in Ekiti State to be shut, the National Judicial Council( NJC), has directed the Ekiti state Chief Judge, Justice A.S. Daramola, to reopen the courts.

The NJC directed the Chief Judge, to make a formal announcement to reopen the courts. He did.

The Council also asked the CJ to see whether law enforcement agents will protect the judges in Ekiti State or not.

According to a source, members of the NJC were unhappy that the police had not complied with their advice to protect judges.

They said the slight on the Judiciary must be resisted to prevent anarchy in Ekiti State or any part of the country.

The source said: “Members considered a brief on Ekiti, especially the continuous closure of the courts. They said there was no justification for the siege since the case against the Governor-elect, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was not the only matter in Ekiti courts.

“The NJC directed the Ekiti CJ to make a formal announcement of the reopening of the courts to see whether the law enforcement agents will respect the Judiciary or not.”

Another source said the NJC took the decision to preserve the integrity of the Judiciary as an arm  of the government.

“It is now left to the Executive, which controls the police and security agencies, to respect the sanctity of the Judiciary,” the source said, adding: “Whatever happens next will determine the next line of action of the NJC. Just know that we are not at war with the Executive, but we want the independence of the Judiciary preserved.”

The Chief Registrar of the Ekiti State High Court directed compliance with the directive of the NJC.

The Chief Registrar, Mr. Obafemi Fasanmi, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti said: “The Chief Judge of Ekiti State Justice Ayodele Daramola, has directed that all courts in Ekiti State should be open to the general public.”

The Ekiti Chief Judge closed all courts in the state following attacks on judges and courts by thugs suspected to be sympathetic to Governor-elect Ayo Fayose.

Fayose is in court in a case by a pressure group E-11, challenging his eligibility to contest the June 21 governorship election in the state which he won.

But his supporters are believed to be working towards stopping the case from taking place before Fayose is sworn in on Thursday

Two judges were atttacked on September 22 and 25.

On September 22, Justice Olusegun Ogunyemi’s court was disrupted during proceedings in the eligibility case.

The judge refused an application to set aside an order abridging the time for Fayose to file his defence.

On September 25, Justice John Adeyeye, was beaten and his suit torn

The NJC  directed the police to investigate the incidents and also to provide security for courts in the state to ensure impartial administration of justice after the CJ reported the attacks to the body, which conveyed an emergency meeting.

But the security agencies have since taken over the premises of the courts claiming that it was not safe for judges to operate. That was the situation uptill yesterday.

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