LAWYERS4CHANGE

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Exclusive: Real Reasons Why the Governor Wants the Lagos CJ Out

Following the Squib’s lead story in her last week’s edition, there now exists, in the upper echelon of the Lagos State Judiciary a strong aura of uncertainty, despite the efforts of the helmsman to douse tension and the sense of unease in his now slippery corridor of power.

Geckos within the perimeter circles of power told this Magazine of the constant assurances the man at the centre of the storm, His Lordship, Augustine Adetula Alabi J, continued to give enquiriers, as to the stability of his government, that all is well.

According to our ever reliable geckos, the honourable Chief Judge took a surprising liberal approval to the SQUIB’S ground shaking news. The Chief Judge was heard telling many people “Don’t mind the yeye boy (Squib’s Editor-In-Chief) he is only exercising his right of freedom of speech. There’s no truth in his claims.”

Some of the aides and support staff of the Chief Judge, also maintained that their boss will use his full term before quitting the stage. Said one or two of the believers to the Squib “The Chief Judge is not leaving office in April as you claim”. In fact the earliest time will be July 2009. Are we not the ones working with milord? Simply because the Chief Judge wrote in his formal retirement notice to the NJC, Squib is now saying he is being sent packing. The truth is that “our oges still dey kampe.”

However deeply informed geckos wining and dining in the Lagos Judiciary authority centre cared to tell the Squib’s Central Intelligence that all is not well with the Chief Judge Adetula Alabi’s tenure despite his lordship’s “cool, calm and collected posture.”

For starters nobody is denying that the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has sent in a petition to the Chief Judge’s employer, the National Judicial Council. Or that Honourable Justice Inumidun Akande is a factor in the developments surrounding the office of the Chief Judge, as regards the reality of her becoming the acting Chief Judge in a few weeks.
Informed watchers of the Lagos State Judiciary know that there are unresolved issues between the Governor of the Lagos State and the Chief Judge.

One of such issues according to our high-perch geckos is the view of the Governor that the Chief Judge is yet to give proper account of some equipment materials, like motor vehicles, laptops, photocopiers, all brand new, released to the Lagos State Judiciary for the use of the Election Petition Tribunal Panel members and support staff that sat between 2007 and 2008 to hear various petitions arising out of the 2007 General Elections.

According to our sources, after the Election Petition Tribunal wound up the Governor the last man to pay Father Christmas, was expecting the returning of vehicles and other equipment to the government. However to the utter shock and dismay of the Governor, the vehicle and some office equipment seemed to have gone AWOL and located themselves in the invisible arena of the thin air. According to our sources, since the Election Tribunal members denied and with indubitable proof ever taking the aforementioned objects, the only direction of search lay in the Lagos Judiciary, which could not produce an explanation as to the where about or disposal of the goods, acceptable to the Governor.

Some other complaints against the Chief Judge reaching the Governor directly include allegations of improper disposal of attached goods and unjudicious interventions, expressly or by conduct in cases before some judges.

According to our sources a much bothered Governor Fashola decided to demand for the Chief Judge to proceed on his terminal leave in early April, to make way for a “free and fair” environment conducive to a proper, thorough and unhindered investigation of the activists of the Chief Judge.
The Squib can authoritatively disclose in the light of sundry travails that have come on Chief Judge Alabi in the last lap of his reign suggestions have come to his lordship from certain friends and sympathizers that he should tender his resignation from office to escape the greater embarrassment and inconvenience of dismissal and possible criminal prosecution.

Sources close to the truly embattled Chief Judge Alabi, indicated that judicial prince is not fielding his hands in the wake of the troubles against him, particularly those coming from the direction of the Governor of the State Raji Fashola SAN.

To douse the Fashola fire the Chief Judge reportedly has been visiting and lobbying the owner of the game of politics in Lagos State, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Asiwaju of Lagos who as everybody knows was the Chief pillar of the emergence of Fashola as Governor of Lagos State and to whom Fashola is believed to respectfully defer to.

The million naira question that remains begging for answers in all these is whether or not the Chief Judge will stay in office till his due retirement time of August 8 2009?

Those who answer this question in the negative became stronger in their conviction when it was noted last week that the Lagos High Court Chambers of the honourable Chief Judge was dusted and cleaned while security men of the Lagos High Court were seen packing out some items from the chambers.

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