Babatope Okeowo, Akure
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akure branch and a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Charles Titiloye on Tuesday jostled over his recommendation of the investigation of the Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olanrewaju Akeredolu by the State Judicial Council and House of Assembly for delay of criminal trial of a suspect. While the NBA said the immediate past Attorney General acted outside the law in his recommendation of the investigation of the Chief Judge by the Judicial Council and House of Assembly, Titiloye, however, insisted he acted within his powers as the chief law officer of the state. Titiloye had discontinued with the criminal trial of Olupelumi Fagboyegun, recommended the investigation of Justice Akeredolu by the Judicial Council and House of Assembly over the delay in the prosecution of the accused over allegation of likely conduct to cause breach of peace for breaking into the firm of the late Olajide Fagboyegun, the father of the Chief Judge.
But the NBA, in a statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Rotimi Olorunfemi and Ademola Ikujuni, said the former Attorney General acted outside the constitution of the country when he made his recommendations to the State Executive Council.
The body said the action of Titiloye action is smacked of executive reckelessness.
It said Titiloye’s action “is “unconstitutional and therefore uncalled for and of no moment whatsoever.”
The body said Titiloye as the Attorney General had done the needful and taken the wisest decision in the case which is entering a nolle prosequi which would no doubt douse the tension the case between the contending parties has generated and allow the family to freely ventilate their “paternity dispute” via civil action.
But Titiloye in his reaction said the Chief Judge was accorded fair hearing before the report was released contrary to the position of the NBA.
According to him, referring the matter to the Judicial Council and House of Assembly was to give the Chief Judge a fair hearing saying there was no violation of section 36 of Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria on right to fair hearing.