A reputable civil rights group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social
Justice (CHRSJ) has raised alarm over the alleged involvement of the
National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator
Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the ruling party, All Progressives Congress
(APC) in the composition of the Appeal Court Panel Judges which lead
to the alleged inclusion of Justice Joseph Olubunmi Kolawole Oyewole
into the panel.
The group revealed that it was reliably informed by the sources close
to the Office of the Court of Appeal President that the leadership of the ruling party (APC) were consulted
before the composition of the current Appeal Tribunal Panel on 2018
Osun governorship election, saying that the ruling party were not
comfortable with the landmark majority judgment of the Lower Tribunal
that declared opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate,
Senator Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke as the winner of the September 22nd,
2018 guber election in the State.
To show its grouse over the action, CHRSJ wrote a Petition Letter
dated 18th of April, 2018 and forwarded to the Court of Appeal
President which is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of
constituting the Governorship Election Appeal Panel over alleged
inclusion of Justice JOK Oyewole in the panel. It also copies the
Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Senate President,Speaker,House of
Representatives, National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) and
International communities for their urgent and necessary action on the
According to the signed Petition Letter by the CHRSJ’s Executive
Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, Alimi Sulaiman and also contained in a
Press Statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, demanded for
the outright removal of Justice Oyewole from the Panel.
The Petition Letter read thus; “We have it on good authority that Hon.
Justice JOK Oyewole is one of the Justices to be appointed by your
good self to serve in the Appeal Tribunal of the 2018 Osun
Governorship Election Petition. It is our belief that anybody that
would serve in such exalted position in the temple of justice must be
above board in all ramifications which the said Hon. Justice Oyewole
could not be categorized as one of such jurists in the panel.
“It is to inform your good self that Justice JOK Oyewole is a
benefactor of the appellants in the said Election Petition and it
would be difficult for Justice Oyewole to dispense justice without
bias. CHRSJ also wishes to inform you good authority that Mr. Gboyega
Oyetola who is the 2nd Respondents (now appellants) in the
Governorship Election Petition is a Nephew of APC National Leader,
Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the then Chief of Staff in immediate
past Rauf Aregbesola’s government.
“Going by the history and Oyewole’s background, Mr. Justice Oyewole is
a native of Ila Orangun in Ila Local Government area of Osun State but
began his( Justice Oyewole) Law Practice in Lagos State as a pupil
Lawyer where the Asiwaju of Ila Orangun and Former Acting Chairman of
APC , Chief Bisi Akande introduced him( Justice Oyewole) to the then
Governor of Lagos State(now APC National Leader) , Senator Bola Ahmed
Tinubu where Oyewole was nominated as Magistrate in Lagos State and
later elevated to become the Lagos State Judge through recommendation
to the National Judicial Council (NJC) by the Lagos State government.
“More so, the immediate past Osun State government which the
Appellant (Mr. Gboyega Oyetola) serve as Chief of Staff planned to
nominate Justice JOK Oyewole through the State Judicial Service
Commission to be the Chief Judge of Osun State while he was a Judge in
the Lagos State Judiciary. We rose up to forestall their judicial
selfish agenda then and even, the Osun State Judges signed a memo to
the NJC against this act and it was the effort of the courageous
Chairman of NJC and the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice
Aloma Muktar that rightly refused to accept the nomination by
insisting that the most Senior in Osun bench should be recommended”.
The letter further stated; “Later, the then Osun Governor, Mr.
Aregbesola of APC presented Justice Oyewole to the NJC in 2013 to use
Osun’s slot to be elevated to the Court of Appeal. There is still
rumpus in Osun State today and you will see that Justice Oyewole got
to the Court of Appeal through the efforts of Tinubu/ Aregbesola/
Oyetola. May Lord ma, how on earth will Oyewole would not favour the
above 3 named persons in his dispensation of justice, so, he will be
“Sir, allowing Justice Oyewole in the composition of the Appellate
Court jurists on 2018 Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of Osun
State would not only subvert the electoral will of the good people of
Osun State but scuttle the truth and justice which could uplift any
given society in a democratic life”.
“In view of the above points, CHRSJ is rejecting the inclusion of
Justice JOK Oyewole in the proposed Election Petition Appeal panel
because if Justice Oyewole is part of the Governorship Election Appeal
Panel, the panel might have accommodated “a cancer” in its fold and it
may get all the body rotten”, the group submitted.