Hon. Justice A.S. Daramola, the chief judge of Ekiti State, today announced the immediate and indefinite closure of state courts in Ekiti, citing the arrant and repeated attacks on members of the judiciary and court properties.
In a press release signed by the chief registrar, Barr. Obafemi Fasanmi, Justice Daramola closed courts out of concern for the safety of staff. High Court premises were invaded today by a gang of hundreds, the Daramola claims, and assaulted a judge, beating him up and tearing his garments to shreds.
Property was also destroyed, as the thugs tore apart offices and disrupted proceedings. Documents were also destroyed.
Hoodlums believed to be loyal to the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, are alleged to be staging the attacks in order to prevent further challenge to Fayose's assumption of the governorship. A trial judge handling the case concerning the eligibility of the Ekiti governor-elect in the June 21 election was assaulted Monday in the first set of attacks.
Read the full press release below.
The Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Hon. Justice A.S. Daramola, has ordered the immediate closure of all state courts in Ekiti State. The Chief Judge has noted with increasing concern the spate of attacks perpetrated by political thugs and their persistent presence in the premises of the High Court Ado-Ekiti in the past few days.
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.
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.
The court room of the Hon. Chief Judge was not spared in the orgy of assault and destruction as members of staff attached to his office were beaten up and his court record book torn into pieces by these political thugs who also invaded and disrupted proceedings at the Election Petition Tribunal within the High Court premises in Ado-Ekiti.
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.
BARR. OBAFEMI FASANMI