Bereaved family of late Chief Omolafe Aderiye, the former Ekiti State chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who was murdered by gunmen prior to the swearing in of Governor Ayodele Fayose in 2014, has petitioned the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, alleging that the judge in charge of the trial of accused persons has compromised and would deny the deceased justice.
According to daily post, Aderiye family in the three-page petition, written on behalf of the family by one Samson Aderiye, submitted to the CJ and dated April 18, 2016, said: ” The entire member of the family are aggrieved by the way Justice Ogunmoye is handling the case. I have been following the case with other members of the family from the beginning when the accused persons were paraded as the killers of late Chief Aderiye. I have also been attending court with other members of the Aderiye family.
“Sir, we watched with dismay, Justice Ogunmoye showering encomium on the lawyers of the accused persons and reprimanding our lawyer and shouting him down and intinmmidating him in the open court. Despite which our lawyer forges on. The matter got to a worrisome level when on 7th day of October, 2015, Okeowo Gbolahan, the Personal Assistant to late Chief Omolafe Aderiye testified, Justice Ogunmoye adjourned the case to 26th October, 2015 for cross examination instead of allowing him to be cross-examined immediately.
“Sir, before 26/10/2015, I was reliably informed that Justice Ogunmoye brokered “peace” between the witness who had earlier testified as an eye-witness and the accused persons’ family on the ground that they were from the same Ekiti and this led the witness to change everything he had earlier said in his testimony.
”In fact Justice Ogunmoye commented at some point in court that he also received calls from people who are worried about him. But to my surprise and that of the members of the family, he denied that he was informed of the threat to the lives of members of Aderiye family.”
The family alleged that witnesses who wanted to testify at the court against the accused persons received messages of threat to their live and were at first reluctant to show up were allegedly denied the right by the judge “after the issue of security of the witnesses was sorted out.”
They maintained that: ” Our lawyer applied to call the witnesses but before that could happen, Justice Ogunmoye gave the ruling on 15th December, 2015 refusing the application from our lawyer.”
Aderiye’s family alleged further that : “The accused persons were bragging in town that Justice Ogunmoye would not allow the case to be reopened. And true to their position, Justice Ogunmoye refused to reopen the case to enable our lawyer call further witnesses in the matter. Consequent upon which our lawyer appealed against the decision and promptly sent the record of appeal to the court of appeal, Ado Ekiti.
They said that Justice Ogunmoye was duly informed that the record of Appeal had been sent to the court of appeal and that all applications in the file must be transmitted to the court of appeal, but despite this, Justice Ogunmoye insisted on going on with the matter by taking the application for stay of proceedings: ” Despite the fact that the record of proceedings has been transmitted, Justice Ogunmoye has been hearing series of application in the case which the accused persons have been able to foretell the outcome, ” they added.
Alleging that presently, the accused persons are already jubilating that the application for bail, which is yet to be argued, will be granted as a matter of cause, they told the CJ that: “We have also reliably gathered that Justice Ogunmoye has collected the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) from the accused persons through a third party who is related to one of the lawyers to the accused persons in order to assist the accused persons to escape justice and has vowed that before we come back from the Court of Appeal, he would have set the accused persons free.”
Supplying the phone numbers of Justice Ogunmoye as 08037701308 for the CJ to investigate their allegations, the family said: “Sir, we hereby appeal to you to use your good office and connection to collect the case file from Justice Ogunmoye and give the file to another impartial and unbiased judge.”
Reacting to the development on phone, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ekiti State, Dr. Foluke Dada, who was one of the parties copied, said: ” I received a copy of the letter but we don’t want to comment on what is going on in the court now. Interestingly the letter was addressed to the Chief judge (CJ) of the state and other parties were copied. We have made effort to contact the Aderiye family but we haven’t been able to access the address they gave on the letter.
”We hope that the CJ would do the needful by investigating the judge they have appointed.
”The allegation leveled against the Justice is a heavy one and he would also be allowed the right to defend himself. We would wait for the CJ to decide on the matter before we come in.” (DailyPost)
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