Ondo Judiciary Sacks, Suspends 190 Magistrates, Registrars


By James Sowole in Akure

About 190 judicial officers comprising Magistrates and Senior Registrars  in the employment of the Ondo State were affected by the weekend action of the government which either sacked or suspended them  from service.

The action of the government it was gathered, was due to what it termed’ irregular appointments”.

As at Friday, 70 magistrates and Senior Registrars have received either the letter of suspension or termination of appointments while the rest are to get theirs within this week.

THISDAY gathered that most of those  affected by the purge in the state judiciary were the Magistrates and Senior Registrars employed by the State Judicial Service Commission (JSC) between 2011 and 2016.

The affected workers were those employed by the two past chief judges of the state, Justices Olaseinde Kumuyi (rtd) and Temitayo Osoba, who were chairmen of Judicial Service Commission when the appointments were made.

A copy of the letter of suspension dated September 13 and made available to journalists  was signed by the Secretary of the JSC, IIEF, ZD Egbunu.

The letter titled “Letter of Suspension” read “due to perceived irregularities and lack of due process in your appointment as a Senior Registrar (functioning as a Staff Attorney) in the Ondo State Judiciary within the Judicial Service of the State, the Honourable Acting Chief Judge/Chairman of Judicial Service Commission has directed your immediate suspension from the Judicial Service pending plenary consideration and review of the propriety of your appointment process. Meanwhile, you are to handover any government property in your possession to the Chief Registrar, please.”

In response, the Akure Chapter of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) said since the JSC which employed them declare the appointment irregular, the association would wade into it and see what made the appointments irregular.

The Chairman of the NBA, Mr. Tunji Oso said the list of the affected judicial officers was being compiled  for necessary interface with the relevant government officials.

Oso acknowledged that JSC which employed the staff could sack them but must follow the laid down procedure affecting their terms of employment.