November 20, (THEWILL) – In recent times, there have been repeated attempts to mislead the public about the relationship between the Adeleke administration and the judiciary, mischievously using Timothy Adegoke’s murder case as a launchpad. By inventing lies and outright falsehood, some mischievous elements tried to paint a picture that suggested that Governor Ademola Adeleke was trying to subvert the course of justice.
This big lie was started by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Yomi Aliu, who tried to create a false impression that Governor Adeleke is after the Chief Justice in the State, Adepele Ojo, for sentencing Rahmon Adedoyin, the proprietor of Hilton Hotel, to death over his role in Adegoke’s murder. In an apparent attempt to drive this narrative, Aliu insinuated a plot to force Justice Adepele out of office.
This warp notion was what a bunch of scavengers posing as a civil society group tried to breathe life into during its recent campaign of falsehood. They regurgitate the same foul logic in what is clearly a hatchet job to disparage the administration of Governor Adeleke and feed the public with patently false information about the government. Just like Aliu, they alleged, even without any evidence, that Governor Adeleke was making a move against the Chief Judge of the State.
On the surface, this is enough to trigger concerns, however, looking deeper will show nothing but conspiracy. To start with, the appointment, discipline, and even sack or otherwise, solely rest on the National Judicial Council (NJC), a body that has the exclusive authority over the affairs of the judiciary.
This well-established fact is clearly in stark contrast to the senior lawyer’s and the propagandist’s outrageous claim against Governor Adeleke. The clear deduction here is a deliberate campaign of falsehood, which the Spokesperson to Governor Adeleke, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, was quick to discern, and aptly countered by pointing out that “the present (Adeleke) administration enjoys a very warm and harmonious relationship with the Judiciary as against the pseudo acrimony peddled by Mr Aliu.”
Like most effective conspiracy theories, this one is centred around something touching and easy to sway public opinion. The gruesome murder of Timothy Adegoke was tragic, and the mounting anticipation for justice offers a fertile ground to advance a dangerous narrative.
This must be what ace broadcaster, Oriyomi Hamzat, sensed that prompted him to come out to quash the narratives triggered by Aliu’s needless rhetorics. Hamzat, who took a leading role in the quest to get justice for Adegoke, pointedly noted that Governor Adeleke never at any point in the course of the litigation against Adedoyin interfered. He also explained that Justice Ojo was well aware of her retirement and preparing for it even before Governor Adeleke took office, puncturing Aliu’s claim on the matter.
There is another strand of the lies, however, that is as depraved as it is shameless. This came in the form of rumour purporting that Governor Adeleke intended to grant pardon to Adedoyin. Even if you are inclined to believe anything against Adeleke, the rumour on a planned pardon for Adedoyin makes no sense. To believe it, you will have to ignore the fact that Adedoyin still has two layers of appeal to explore before the matter is finally put to an end legally.
And this is not something that happens quickly, hence, the rumour has no basis in truth except for mischief. Clear enough, Governor Adeleke did not have control over the two other layers of court and made the narrative of the APC elements watery and ludicrous.
It is simply the continuation of the egregious attempts to drag Governor Adeleke into a matter that has nothing to do with him. Some people are desperately plotting to break the overwhelming support that Governor Adeleke enjoys with Osun people using lies as a tool.
This is shameful, to say the least, because nothing can justify using the tragic loss of Adegoke to advance partisan or other interests. And this has to end because it does not in any way help the course of justice. What the lies against Governor Adeleke do is distract attention from the real issues that surround the brutal murder of Adegoke, including simply enabling those responsible to escape justice.
That is why every concerned Nigerian must ask those conjuring lies to confuse the public: What exactly are their interests? To get justice for Adegoke or make political capital out of it, using lies and other tricks? If they want justice for Adegoke, the way to go about it is truth, not the falsehood they have deployed so far.
Just like every other Nigerian, Governor Adeleke is interested in justice for Adegoke and this much was captured by his Spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, in a rebuttal to the rumour on the planned pardon of Adedoyin. While pointedly denying any plan to grant clemency to Adedoyin, Governor Adeleke was quoted to have declared that “neither the State Government nor the State Governor is interested in the subversion of the wheel of justice.”
In less than a year, Governor Adeleke has demonstrated interest in upholding the rule of law by improving the welfare of judges and their working environment. Only recently, Governor Adeleke approved the payment of owed arrears to retired judges in the State owed by the previous administration. This will be in addition to the ongoing effort to rehabilitate court buildings to make them more conducive for judges, and by next year, Osun may have an Appeal Court building in the State, marking an end to the need to go to Akure for appeal processes.
It smacks delusion for anyone to accuse this same government of trying to undermine the judiciary. Although the antics of the rabble-rousers, disguised as a civil group, are not surprising, what they missed in this latest adventure of lies and conspiracy is that they underrated Osun people, discerning minds to see through their mischief and dangerous antics. They failed already!
***Sarafa Ibrahim is a Special Assistant to the Osun State Governor. He writes from Osogbo, Osun State.