Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has restrained the the Ondo State governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), from embarking on the removal of the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Oluwatoyin Akeredolu.
The court in a judgment on Thursday, held that the governor and five others seeking to remove the Chief Judge from office without recourse to the National Judicial Council (NJC), lacked constitutional powers to do so.
The Judge consequently granted an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the governor and five others from probing, investigating or tampering with activities of Justice Akeredolu in the discharge of her official duties.
Justice Ekwo also made an order nullifying any decisions made by the governor and other defendants aimed at suspending, sacking and investigating the plaintiff on the ground that doing so will tantamount to act of illegality.
The Judge further held that for a state governor to unseat a judicial officer, he must act on the recommendation of the NJC, adding that in the present case, the NJC had not investigated the plaintiff and that there was no recommendation from NJC for Governor Akeredolu to act upon to legally remove the Chief Judge.
Justice Ekwo also dismissed the claims of the governor and the Attorney-General of Ondo State that the case of the Chief Judge was opinionated and speculative, adding that all averments in the supporting affidavit were founded on facts of law.