- The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, has been asked to resign from office immediately
- 52 northern groups made the demand, accusing the CJN of aligning himself with some PDP governors
- Director of Press and Public Relations in Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande, had earlier said the comment of Ariwoola was twisted
FCT, Abuja - For his comment on the Peoples Democratic Party G5 group, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, has been asked to resign from office.
The demand was made by a coalition of 52 northern groups on Thursday, December 1.
Punch newspaper reports that the 52 Arewa socio-cultural groups made the demand at a briefing in Abuja, days after the CJN expressed happiness that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state aligned himself with the PDP G5 governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.
The comment of the CJN during the inauguration of a project built by Wike, had sparked controversies, with some individuals and groups alleging that it smacked of partisanship.
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But the Director of Press and Public Relations in Supreme Court, Dr. Festus Akande, had exonerated the CJN, saying his comment was twisted.
However, the National Coordinator of CNG, Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, said the CJN’s perceived gaffe had confirmed the assertion that some judges were no better than politicians in black robes.
“The CNG hereby unequivocally condemn with all our might any such attempts by the government to condone highly placed judicial officers who abuse the judicial independence which is critical to fairness and impartiality and free from outside pressures or inducements.
“We call for the immediate resignation of Mr. Ariwoola from the position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and an unconditional apology to Nigerians for the embarrassment caused.
“We call on the legislative and executive arms of government to come out of their present docility by imitating urgent processes for stripping Ariwoola of the title of the CJN in order to restore the integrity of the judiciary and reclaim public confidence in the Justice system.”
According to him, the CNG was concerned that Justice Ariwoola had cast serious doubts around his personal integrity and the expectations for the judiciary to maintain neutrality in whatever circumstances.
“For whatever intent and purposes and despite attempts by aides at a belated whitewash, the CJN’s remark is an unambiguous and deliberate expression of partial interest in certain active political formations.
“By this tacit endorsement of a section of the political community, the CJN has inadvertently drowned the nation’s judiciary deep into the murky waters of the kind of cut throat politics the likes of Governor Nyesom Wike are known for.
“The CNG therefore finds it unacceptable for the CJN to continue in that position after presenting himself as an active player in a particular team thereby completely destroying the reality and appearance of a fair and impartial, non-partisan justice administration system.
“We warn that it is not possible to have a successful democracy without a fair and impartial judiciary, and it is not possible to have a fair and impartial judiciary that lacks independence in partisan political activities.”
2023: Prosecute Bola Tinubu immediately, CRA petitions AGF Abubakar Malami
Meanwhile, the Centre for Reform and Advocacy (CRA) has petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to prosecute the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
The CRA also issued a five days ultimatum to the AGF to comply with the demands or face legal actions.
The letter signed by CRA Legal Adviser, Kalu Agu was made available to newsmen on Sunday, November 27 in Abuja.
2023 elections: Court sentences guber candidate to 42-year jail term
In a related development, the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom, Senator Bassey Akpan, has been sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for corruption.
Akpan's jail term was issued on Thursday, December 1, by the Federal High Court in Uyo, the state capital, through the presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke.
The senator who represents Akwa Ibom North-East was convicted on six charges bordering on money laundering.