The Coalition of Northern Groups has called for the immediate resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Oluwakayode Ariwoola, for making partisan statement.
The coalition in a statement on Thursday which was signed by its National Coordinator, Jamilu Charanchi, said the CJN should be sacked if he fails to resign.
The statement sighted by PlatinumPost read in full : “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has watched with considerable restraint the events unfolding since the remark by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Oluwakayode Ariwoola that tends to ridiculously and blatantly drag the entire judiciary into partisanship.
“In the CNG’s tradition of restraint we waited for more than four days since the CJN made the remarks endorsing the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s apparent rebellion against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
” The CNG is worried that several days after the CJN’s costly gaffe that confirms the assertion that some judges are no better than politicians in black robes, both the NJC, the executive and Legislative arms of government have not reacted.
” It is curious that while the erring CJN could not muster the necessary decency to resign honourably and apologize to Nigerians, the Legislative and executive arms of government also appear complicit.
” The Federal Government that was quick to administer disciplinary measures on former Chief Justices Walters Samuel Nkanu Onneghen and Tanko Mohammed for less grievous allegations, now appear inactive in the face of the more grievous breach of the CJN dragging the nation’s judiciary into an embarrassing political situation by being outright partisan.
“From whichever technical prism the nation looks at it, the negative impact of the CJN’s unguarded remark expressing joy that the Governor of his (Oyo) state, Seyi Makinde, had continued to support Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers in the coalition of five governors, cannot be missed.
“The CNG is concerned that the CJN had cast serious doubts around his personal integrity and the expectations for the judiciary to maintain neutrality in whatever circumstances.
This remark has clearly exposed the Chief Justice of Nigeria as incapable or unprepared to dispense impartial Justice in accordance with the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which further expose the federal government incapacity and/ or lacking in the political will and capacity to check action that are detrimental to such.
“If the Chief dispenser of Justice would so callously expose his parson 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.
“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 active player in a particular team thereby completely destroying the reality and appearance of 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.
“There will never be a successful democracy in Nigeria where the judicial function is subsumed in the deep sea of greedy patronage to impress such political leaders that lack proper composure, maturity, decency and responsible disposition to credible leadership and riding to power on the back of breathtaking ineptitude, gratuitious insult and crass political opportunism.
1. The CNG hereby unequivocally condemn with all our might any such attempts by 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.
2. 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.
3. We call on the Legislative and executive arms of government to come out of their present docility by imitating 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.”