A northern coalition group made up of 52 socio-cultural and political groups under the aegies of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, to resign from office following his recent comment where he allegedly supported the G5 Group of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The CJN had last week, during the inauguration of a project built by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, the leader of the G5, sparked controversies by expressing happiness that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State aligned himself with the PDP G5 governors.
Following the statement and the controversy it raised, the CNG, at a press conference on Thursday, accused Ariwoola of partisanship and said he should do the honourable thing by resigning.
Addressing the press conference, National Coordinator of CNG, Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, said the CJN’s statement had confirmed insinuations that some judges in the country “were no better than politicians in black robes.”
Describing Ariwoola’s comment as a ridiculous and blatant attempt to drag the entire judiciary into partisanship, Charanchi regretted that despite the public outcry generated by the comments of the CJN in many circles, the National Judicial Council, the Executive, nor the Legislative arms of the Federal Government have reacted.
“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 initiating urgent processes for stripping the Ariwoola of the title of the CJN in order to restore the integrity of the judiciary and reclaim public confidence in the Justice system.
“The remark has clearly exposed the Chief Justice of Nigeria as incapable or unprepared to dispense impartial hustice in accordance with the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“If the Chief dispenser of Justice would so callously expose his partisanship and by implication, the nation’s judiciary to such level of moral and ethical corruption by being outright partisan, the court shall cease to be the temple of justice and the last hope for the nation, a development that is detrimental to the healthy growth of our country’s democracy.
“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,” the group said.
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