An Ibadan-based lawyer, Mutalubi Adebayo, SAN, has issued a ten-day ultimatum to the Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, demanding the payment of outstanding allowances owed to retired and serving judges.
Adebayo has warned that if Governor Adeleke does not comply with the demand by September 30, legal action to enforce payment will commence in a court of competent jurisdiction on October 3.
In a statement signed by Adebayo and obtained by the media, he stressed that he would also seek interest and aggravated damages related to the unpaid entitlements and the arrears of outstanding allowances.
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Adebayo’s statement read, in part, “This serves as a notice to the Governor, the Government, and the Judicial Service Commission of Osun State of Nigeria that if all the arrears of allowances being owed to all the Judicial Officers in the state (both serving and retired) from the tenure of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola till date are not settled on or before the 30th day of September 2023, I, JCI Senator Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo, SAN, shall, on October 3 2023, commence legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the full amount of the said unpaid allowances from the Government of Osun State and its Judicial Service Commission.”
He further emphasized that the government’s failure to pay these allowances over the years amounted to “sheer callousness, recklessness, disregard for the rule of law, indecency, and unfairness.”
However, the Osun State Government has responded to Adebayo’s threat, urging him to reconsider his intentions. In a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, the government argued that Adebayo’s actions amounted to “meddlesomeness” and misrepresenting the employment relationship between employees and the employer.
The government acknowledged the challenges of inherited debts from previous administrations and emphasized its commitment to addressing these financial burdens amidst competing demands for state expenditure.
The statement concluded by suggesting that Adebayo redirect his efforts towards advocating for the continuation of phased payments of outstanding liabilities inherited from previous administrations and commend the Governor for addressing these financial challenges in the interest of all Osun people.
The dispute over unpaid allowances for judges in Osun State appears to be a complex issue involving legal and financial considerations, with both sides presenting their perspectives.
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