The anticipated swearing of Justice David Olayinka Afolabi as the Acting Chief Judge of Osun State did not hold on Friday.
Osun State House of Assembly had on Thursday asked the state Chief Judge, Adepele Ojo, to step aside to allow for an investigation into the petition against her.
Justice Afolabi, who is next in line on the order of seniority was immediately appointed as the acting Chief Judge by the governor, Ademola Adeleke, with his swearing-in slated for Friday.
The Deputy Governor, Mr. Kola Adewusi, was directed to perform the swearing-in ceremony.
But no such event took place at the Government Secretariat in Abere on Friday.
Sources close to the government, who preferred to remain anonymous, said Adewusi, was in Abuja when announcements that suspended Ojo and appointed Afolabi were made.
It was however learnt the Deputy Governor had arrived in the state and was in office before the closing of work on Friday, but Afolabi was not however seen around the Governor’s Office as of the close of work.
When contacted, the Osun State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. Kolapo Alimi, said the event did not hold because certain procedures must be followed.
Alimi, during an interview with our correspondent, said a resolution of the House of Assembly suspending Ojo had been sent to the National Judicial Council.
He however said the swearing-in ceremony did not hold for all needed conditions to be fulfilled, adding that the deputy governor who was to perform the exercise was also outside Osun and would only return in the evening.
Asked if insinuations that Afolabi deliberately did not present themself for swearing-in were true, Alimi said he was unaware of such a development.
He said, “I am unaware that the Acting CJ refuses to take over. When the announcement was made, the deputy governor was out of Osun. He was in Abuja but he was instructed to carry out the function.
“As of 4:pm Friday, the Deputy Governor has not arrived in Ibadan. As we are speaking, the Deputy Governor will just be arriving in the state. The deputy governor has sent the resolution of the House to NJC informing the body of the development here. The event did not hold because we are trying to follow procedure.”
Meanwhile, sources in the judiciary that spoke to our correspondence on the issue said ‘certain interests’ were mounting pressure on Afolabi not to present himself for swearing-in.
But this could not however be immediately verified by our correspondent.
It was also learnt that courts in the state did not sit in the outgoing week as the judges were said to be outside the state attending a conference.
“That possibly is the reason Afolabi was not around the Governor’s Office as you mentioned. He has not been seen in the past few days. We learnt judges from the state were attending a conference outside Osun,” a source in the judiciary who preferred not to be named said.