The Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency and Good Governance, CCTGG,in a release by its Executive Director, Comrade Manzo Abubakar has called on Chief Justice of Nigeria,CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to immediately vacate his office.
The statement read in part ;
“Nigeria is a democratic society and one that allows for free expression of speech. The constitution has made that a reality and as Nigerians, we are free to speak on issues of national interests but in a guided way. But, a thing of note is that as much as we have been licensed by the constitution to freely speak, certain situations or offices are that one must be extremely careful what to say, particularly as it regards to ethno-religious affiliations.
“In what recently happened in Port Harcourt particularly over the utterances of His Lordship Olukayode GCON, the Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency and Good Governance, CCTGG, has decided to, in unity, stand to emphatically consider the statements made by CJN as double standard.
“The CJN was recently quoted in River state Ariwola to have said he was happy that Governor Makinde, the CJN’s state, was part of the G-5. Issues bordering on misconceptions and misrepresentations of this nature are not always strange in times like this when the country is preparing for general elections, as some people may want to take advantage of every opportunity to score very cheap goals.
“As we all know, this is the era of aggressive and even unconventional politicking, so, there’s nothing that will not be heard or seen at this crucial time, especially between now and February 2023, when the general elections will be conducted. The truth is that open-minded Nigerians typically steer clear of making rash declarations and travelling to locations where they can be perceived as taking sides. This is particularly true for judges and magistrates who are constitutionally in the position of adjudicating on sensitive matters.
“The Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency and Good Governance, CCTGG, stand to emphatically considered the statements made by the Chief Justice of Nigeria during his recent visit to Port Harcourt and came to the conclusion that it is unlikely that the current Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship Olukayode GCON, will be able to carry out the sacred duties of his office and impartially ensure justice for every Nigerian, particularly when it comes to defending citizens’ voting rights and votes.
“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.
“Many of us learned as children that due to the nature of their work, judges, magistrates, and other judicial authorities frequently avoid most social gatherings. Because of this, some individuals incorrectly label these judges as antisocial. Many of us have learned that they behave more formally at social occasions when they have classes.
“It is on this basis that CCTGG holds the position that the CJN has set a poor precedent for others and started on the wrong foot. He ought to have the decency to step down, as most honest people do for less evident reasons, as was recently the case in Britain. The CJN ought to resign honorably and apologize to Nigerians without any holds barred.
“CCTGG, 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.