Special Assistant on Public Communications to the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, Phrank Shaibu, has accused the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Oluwakayode Ariwoola of of not leading by example.
According to The PUNCH, Shaibu disclosed this while reacting to the remarks credited to Ariwoola, claiming fraternity between the chief judicial officer and some politician.
In a statement to the press on Friday, the aide said, “Last month, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, appointed 277 election petition tribunal members to rule on issues related to the country’s 2023 General Elections.”
“At the event, Justice Ariwoola warned judges to remain neutral and impartial during this political season. He also warned politicians against trying to induce judges.
“However, it may seem the honourable CJN is not ready to lead by example going by his recent utterances and open and blatant hobnobbing with politicians.”
The aide expressed his displeasure at the manner in which the CJN makes remarks in support of actions by a group of governors of the Peoples Democratic Party led by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.
“On October 30, 2022, the CJN, who is from Oyo State, was hosted to an elaborate reception by Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde. At the event, Justice Ariwoola sat with Makinde and other governors who now pride themselves as the G5.
“But it may seem Justice Ariwoola continues to enjoy the company of politicians. On Thursday, November 24, 2022, the CJN was in Rivers State, this time as a guest of Governor Nyesom Wike who also happens to be a member of the G5.
“Apparently overwhelmed by Wike’s lavish reception at the inauguration of judiciary projects, the CJN said at the live event that he was happy that Governor Makinde was a member of the G5 and solidly with Governor Wike.
It would be recalled that Justice Ariwoola, was in Rivers State few days back to commission some judiciary projects undertaken by the state government.
He said that Justice Ariwoola was wrong to say things like, “That’s why we shouldn’t be afraid of these men of the integrity group, and I’m glad that my own governor is one of them, because he would try to act like his friend and in-law, and we came here to get married for my governor.”
“So, Governor Wike will always threaten that he will call back his sister if my governor fails to play ball. That is why you see him following his Excellency (Wike) because my governor is afraid of his wife being recalled,’ he joked.
He also stated that the CJN acknowledged the presence of the group of five governors at the Rivers gala night and judiciary project inauguration, emphasizing that “they had been similarly present when Makinde held a ‘lavish’ reception to celebrate his appointment as CJN some months ago.”
He also criticizes the CJN for being quoted on record as saying that ‘whether people like Wike or not, he was leaving a legacy for generations unborn, stressing that his record will be difficult to beat by any other public official.’
He also urged stakeholders in the judiciary to call the CJN to order, saying: “this is why it is important for the Nigerian Bar Association, the Body of Benchers and all other reputable organisations in the judiciary to immediately caution Justice Ariwoola against desecrating the exalted office of the CJN.