Appointment of SIEC chairman in order ― Ekiti govt
The Ekiti State Government on Thursday defended the appointment of Justice Jide Aladejana as the chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission(EKSIEC).
The government insisted that Aladejana was never dismissed from the bench by the National Judicial Council (NJC) as claimed by the PDP and that his appointment didn’t breach the law or vitiate the composition of SIEC.
The PDP had last week accused Fayemi of violating the existing statute by appointing a “dismissed” Judge as the Chairman of the commission.
A statement by the party’s State Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, alleged the ruling party of plotting to compromise the conduct of the December 7, 2019 elections.
But countering the position canvassed by the opposition in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the Information Commissioner, Mr Muyiwa Olumilua, clarified that Aladejana was only suspended, after the ill-fated impeachment against former Governor Ayodele Fayose in 2006.
Olumilua clarified that the then Acting Governor, Hon. Tope Ademiluyi, who emerged following the proclamation of the state of emergency by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had reinstated Aladejana and asked him to resume duty as a Judge, thereby lifting the said suspension placed on him by the NJC.
He said, “Being a State Judge, the NJC had no jurisdiction, or authority to dismiss or suspend him, as he was an employee of the State, not the Federal Government.
“The NJC can only recommend such to the governor, but the power and the authority lie with the State Government, to either accept or reject the recommendation of the NJC. It has no power to enforce it.
“Governors Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi, did not reverse the decision of Hon. Tope Ademiluyi, retaining Justice Aladejana as a Judge in the employ of Ekiti State Government.
“The said suspension is still being contested at Supreme Court and still awaiting the ruling.
“All said, Justice Aladejana is still a Judge of Ekiti State Government, and is eminently qualified to be appointed as the Chairman of SIEC. Nothing precludes or vitiates his appointment,” he said.
During the crisis leading to Fayose’s impeachment in 2006, the then Hon. Friday Aderemi-led House of Assembly had suspended the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile for allegedly hobnobbing with Fayose.
The Assembly said the alleged fraternity between the duo, had compromised the impeachment panel set up by Justice Bamisile to try Fayose over allegations of gross misconduct.
Subsequently, Justice Aladejana was appointed in acting capacity to fill the vacancy in the judiciary, which the NJC said was a flagrant violation of the laws and the principles of separation of powers.