Ekiti State Chief judge, Justice Ayo Daramola has ordered the indefinite closure of all state courts following repeated attacks on members of the state judiciary and the destruction of properties.
In a press release signed by the Chief Registrar of the state Judiciary, Mr Obafemi Fasanmi, the closure became imperative following concern for the safety of staff, after attacks by hoodlums who invaded the court premises and assaulted a judge, destroyed court properties, including important documents like the judge’s record book.
“It would be recalled that on Monday, 22nd September, 2014, some political thugs invaded the High Court No.6 in Ado-Ekiti where Hon. Justice O.I.O. Ogunyemi was presiding. His sitting for that day was disrupted and aborted and the Hon. Judge had to be ferried away by a detachment of police officers after he had been harassed and chased around his office by these political thugs,” the statement read.
“Again today, Thursday, 25th September, 2014, another set of political thugs came in their hundreds and invaded the High Court premises in Ado-Ekiti and in the process assaulted Hon. Justice J.O. Adeyeye of the High Court No. 3 in Ado-Ekiti by beating him up and tearing his suit to shreds while the police officers on guard looked unconcerned and uninterested as Judges, Magistrates and other members of staff had to run for their dear lives, while courts’ properties were either damaged or completely destroyed.
“A date for re-opening of the courts shall be announced as soon as adequate and effective security of our judges, magistrates, members of the bar, members of the staff of the judiciary and other court users is assured and put in place,” the statement by Daramola read.
The political tugs, who attacked the court have been linked to Governor-elect Ayodele Fayose, whose eligibilty to contest the June 21 election in the state was being heard by the court. Their attacks were said to have been aimed at stopping any court proceeding that may hinder their ‘patron’ from assuming the gubernatorial seat in the state.