Magistrates in the Osun State Judiciary may boycott sittings in the courts due to the failure of the state’s Commissioner of Police to arrest and produce in court the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi.
They also alleged threats to their lives.
The magistrates, under the Magistrates’ Association of Nigeria, Osun State branch, said this in a letter dated January 4, 2017, and addressed to the Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Adepele Ojo.
A source within the judiciary made a copy of the letter, written through the Chief Registrar to the CJ, available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Thursday.
The letter was signed by the Chairman of the MAN, Osun State branch, Ms. F. A. Sodamade; Secretary, Mr. F. I. Omisade; Mrs. A. O. Oyeniyi, Mr. J. O. Owolawi, Mr. A. O. Ayilara and Mrs. A. O. Ajanaku.
The letter read in part, “We therefore humbly seek Your Lordship’s attention, protection and response in the following ways:
“An urgent directive to the Commissioner of Police to arrest and present for prosecution the Oluwo of Iwo.
“An urgent order directing the Commissioner of Police to provide each magistrate with armed personal orderlies as done in other jurisdiction.
“We humbly state that with the prevalent threat to the security of magistrates as exemplified in the events in Iwo and Osogbo, we consider our lives unsafe and may be unable to continue sitting in our various stations, which may affect us entertaining any new charge from the office of the Commissioner of Police until the Commissioner of Police has complied with Your Lordship’s directives.”
The Oluwooke of Iwo Oke, Oba Kadiri Adeoye, had instituted a case against Oba Akanbi at a magistrate’s court in Osogbo but the latter has refused to appear before the court presided over by Mr. Olusola Aluko.
Aluko had, on December 2, threatened to issue a bench warrant against Oba Akanbi if he failed to appear before him on December 20, 2016, but the monarch spurned the threat.
The magistrate then issued a bench warrant against the monarch on December 20, 2016, but the monarch said he would not appear before the magistrate.
Aluko also issued a fresh bench warrant against the monarch on Wednesday for contempt of court but Oba Akanbi also refused to appear in court.
Then subsequently the magistrate directed the CP to arrest and produce the Oluwo in court on Friday (today).