By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has maintained that all the top officers in the three arms of government namely the executive, legislature and judiciary deserve to be granted immunity for them to concentrate effectively on their jobs.
The governor was reacting to one of the goodwill messages delivered on Monday at the Muslim service to mark the beginning of the 2015/2016 legal year, at the Central Mosque, Oja’ba, Ibadan.
Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution grants immunity from prosecution to governors, their deputies and president and vice president.
Ajimobi said considering the level at which petitions are written to corruption agencies on public officers’ activities, whoever that is occupying “executive, legislative or judiciary could be derailed in discharging their duty with such petitions.
“Imagine in my own case, a lawyer called me and said I have not paid a particular charge on a property he assumed I owned in Ibadan, I said I never owned any property. If you get to any of the anti-corruption agencies, you will see heaps of petitions against us.
“With that, do you think one will have the time to concentrate on governance? To me, I think all arms of government deserve immunity to enable them to focus on their duty,” he opined.
The governor, however, commended the Chief Justice of Oyo State, Justice Munta Ladipo Abimbola, for his effort at rehabilitating the structures at the State High Court.
In his sermon entitled “The Role of Judicial Officers in the Fight against Corruption,” Professor Sayed Malik of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, urged judges to strive to give expression and meaning to the lofty ideals contained in the mission statement.
His words: “Judicial officers must realise that the positions to which they are appointed belong to Allah and that these positions and they must be held accountable for whatever they do. The judicial officers must also be conscious of the fact that they will also be judged by Allah. “The records of their deeds will be placed before them on the day of judgment and they will be used to judge them,” the cleric added.
In their goodwill messages, the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ibadan branch, Mr Kazeem Gbadamosi, and other dignitaries at the occasion, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke, Barr. Adebayo Shittu urged the state governor to constitute the state cabinet for effective and efficient running of the state government activities, more importantly on judicial matters.
According to them, the re-establishment of the Rent Court is long overdue as it’s absence is causing untold hardship and serious discomfort between the landlords/landladies, tenants and sometimes for lawyers professionally.
A church service was also held at the St James Cathedral, Oke-Bola, Ibadan.