Eniola Akinkuotu and Peter Dada
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has ordered a probe of the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olubunmi Olateru-Olagbegi, for allegedly detaining her half brother, Olupelumi Fagboyegun, for three years.
The probe is sequel to a viral video in which Fagboyegun accused the chief judge of causing his arrest and detention because he went to their father’s home.
Fagboyegun, who said he had been living abroad for over 30 years before he returned to Nigeria in 2018, said he had been arraigned five times while the charges had also been amended five times all in a bid to delay his trial.
He subsequently called on Nigerians to come to his aid as there was no way he could get justice in Ondo State.
Fagboyegun said, “I am calling on you to rescue me from the Ondo State judiciary which is being run as a family affair, that if you don’t know anybody, you cannot get justice. I have been living abroad for over 30 years.
“I came for holiday in Nigeria and to my father’s house. I share the same father with the Chief Justice of Ondo State. I was arrested at my father’s place, was locked up and charged with forceful entry into my father’s house.
“Even if I was convicted of this crime, it only carries a one-year prison penalty. But I have been on open remand for the past three years. The case has been on for three years because the Chief judge of Ondo State influenced the judicial system and I have been unable to get justice.
“They have changed judges five times and have arraigned me five times. They have changed their charges five times and up till today, February 15, 2021, the case is still pending. Please come and rescue me.”
All efforts to reach the CJ was unsuccessful but the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu has instructed the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to investigate the allegation.
Akeredolu on his Twitter handle said, “I have instructed my AG to investigate the allegation. We will ensure the investigation is thorough, fair and transparent.”
The order by the Governor was carried out in a statement issued by the AG, through his personal assistant, Adenike Akinbosade.
The statement was titled ‘Re:Olupelum| Fagboyegun’s allegation against Ondo Chief Judge, Attorney General Of Ondo State directs immediate investigation.’
The statement read, “The Attorney General of Ondo State and Commissioner for Justice, Sir Charles Titiloye has directed the Department of Public Prosecution to immediately investigate the allegation made against the Chief Judge of Ondo state, Hon. Justice 0. O. Akeredolu by Mr Olupelumi Fagboyegun (her brother) in a video that went viral on social media platform on the 15th of February, 2015 wherein he alleged that Ondo state judiciary and courts were being used by the Chief Judge to persecute him and keep him in custody for the past three years on trumped up criminal allegation of unlawful entry into his father’s house.
“The Attorney General, Sir Charles Titiloye noted that the investigation into the matter will be thorough, fair and transparent in order to assure the public that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN administration in Ondo State is determined to preserve the integrity of the courts and the judiciary and ensure that it remains the last hope of the common man.
“The Hon. A.G. who assumed office on the 30th November 2020 (two months ago) said his office is yet to be briefed of the criminal case and have directed the Department of Public Prosecution in the Ministry of Justice to investigate the allegation contained in the online video clips and report back to him within 24 hours.”