A judge in the Ekiti State High Court, Justice Babajide Aladejana, has been reinstated to office 16 years after he was suspended by the National Judicial Council, NJC.
The NJC, under the chairmanship of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Alfa Belgore, suspended Aladejana from office in 2006 alongside the state former Chief Judge, Justice Kayode Bamisile, for their alleged roles in the political crisis that led to the impeachment of ex-Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Fayose was impeached from office on October 16, 2006 over the alleged N1.4 billion poultry scandal, abuse of office and illegal operation of a foreign account.
A source at the Ekiti State Judiciary said on Thursday that Aladejana officially resumed work on Tuesday following the lifting of his suspension by the NJC after his case was reviewed.
He was subsequently allocated High Court Number 2 where he would be hearing cases and performing other judicial functions.
While on suspension, he took up an appointment as a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, ABUAD.
He was later appointed by the immediate past Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, as the Chairman of Ekiti State Independent Electoral Commission (EKSIEC), the last office he held before his reinstatement to office.
It is not clear whether all salaries and allowances Justice Aladejana missed for the past 16 years would be paid to him.
It was learnt that the returnee Judge still has three years in service before reaching the age of retirement.
He was suspended by the NJC in 2006 following his role in constituting a seven-member panel which indicted former Governor Ayo Fayose of gross misconduct.
A different seven-member panel had earlier absolved Fayose of allegations of corrupt enrichment, abuse of office and operation of foreign account levelled against him.
Fayose was subsequently impeached by 24 out of 26 members of the Second Assembly on October 16 after the then lawmakers had adopted the report of the seven
Aladejana performed the swearing-in of the then Speaker of the House of Assembly, the late Rt. Hon. Friday Aderemi, who was locked in power struggle with the then Deputy Governor, Mrs. Biodun Olujimi on who should assume office as the Acting Governor.
It was the power struggle that prompted the imposition of state of emergency by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to prevent Ekiti from sliding into anarchy.
The source said: “It is true that Justice Aladejana resumed office on Tuesday after his suspension was lifted by the NJC. The staff members were all happy to welcome home back because the judge is a very nice man.
“We are happy that Justice Aladejana is back and members of the public should not be surprised to see him at work or hear him perform his duties. The NJC has lifted the suspension after more than 16 years.”