Connect with us

Politics

Resign From Office Over Comment On G5 Governors, Melaye Tells CJN

 

Resign From Office Over Comment On G5 Governors, Melaye Tells CJN

The spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, Senator Dino Melaye, has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to resign from office over his recent partisan comment.

Naija News recalls that the CJN, at a recent banquet organised in his honour by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, had said he was happy that the Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde, is part of the five aggrieved PDP governors, also known as the G5 Governors.

However, after a series of controversies and backlash, the Supreme Court of Nigeria rose in defence of Ariwoola, saying that his comment about Makinde was twisted and misrepresented.

Reacting to the development in a statement on Tuesday, Melaye advised Justice Ariwoola to immediately resign having abused his exalted office by dabbling into partisan politics.

He said If the CJN chooses to prolong his stay in office and to continue to serve the interest of his political friends, he may choose to recuse himself as Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Melaye added that after Ariwoola had recused himself as the NJC chairman, he should proceed on leave to allow for a thorough evaluation of his conduct in line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Code of Conduct for Judicial officers.

The former Senator added that the CJN’s comment had turned him into a partisan politician that could not be trusted with a fair dispensation of justice in Nigeria.

He said, “With the scandalous conduct of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, it has become expedient and a matter of honour that he resigns from the exalted office that he has demonstrably abused.

“If he chooses to prolong his stay in office, to continue to serve the interest of his political friends, he may choose to recuse himself as Chairman of the National Judicial Council, turn himself in as a suspect, proceed on leave, and allow for a thorough evaluation of his conduct in line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who has just demonstrated his familiarity with the workings of G5 Governors has by seeking to recruit members into that group turned himself into a suspect, who only can not be trusted with a fair dispensation of justice in Nigeria, but a Chief Judicial Officer who has become tainted and unfit to superintend over the administration of Justice in Nigeria.”

The PDP Campaign Spokesman further said that Ariwoola had violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial officers with his partisan comment.

Melaye said the CJN failed to adhere to political silence, rather he chose to be a recruiting agent for a distinct and unmistakable political group.

He added: “Graver still, the descent of the Chief Justice of the Federation into the political arena is a gross and indefensible violation of the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, section 5 of which states as follows:

“Right to freedom of expression (5.) A judge, like any other citizen, is entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly; but in exercising such rights, a judge shall always conduct himself in such manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

“Accordingly, a judge shall act with such restraint as is necessary to: (a.) maintain public confidence in the impartiality and independence of the judiciary; (b.) avoid involvement in public discussion or discourse if his or her involvement could reasonably undermine confidence in his or her impartiality; (c.) avoid such occasions and circumstances where such involvement may unnecessarily expose the Judge to political attacks or be inconsistent with the dignity of a Judicial officer; and/or (d.) adhere strictly to political silence.

“Flowing from the above, the first thing that jumps out in 5(d) is the indiscretion of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to fail to adhere to political silence. Rather he chose to be a recruiting agent for a distinct and unmistakable political group.

Melaye asserted that Ariwoola has exposed the judiciary to political attacks and acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the character and calling of his exalted office.

The former lawmaker added that the CJN had a duty to save the judiciary and Nigeria’s democracy.

He added: “The Chief Justice of Nigeria has by his pronouncement desecrated the dignity of the Judiciary, demonstrated partiality, eroded public confidence, exposed the judiciary to political attacks and acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the character, colour, and calling of his exalted office. In fact, he broke all the rules in this section. This represents a sad irony. It is a case of the gatekeeper carting away the goods in his custody.

“We are worried by this development, as this has confirmed the suspicion in certain circles that the judiciary has compromised its independence and is now dependent on certain interests, particularly in the executive branch.

“One can imagine a scenario in which the group the Chief Justice of Nigeria has patronised so openly appears before him with another party in a dispute. Where he presides bias can not be ruled out and where he does not preside his influence on other judges can not be discounted.

“Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has a duty to save the Judiciary, himself, and Nigeria’s democracy.

Advertisement
close button