Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has been urged to step down for reportedly praising Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, for belonging to the G-5 governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The CJN expressed satisfaction that his state’s governor, Makinde, had continued to support Rivers State’s governor, Nyesom Wike, during the commissioning of a project that Wike had supervised.
In a statement released, the Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency and Good Governance (CCTGG) made the demand.
Yakubu Maikyau, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, had a protest letter delivered to him in Abuja, according to Manzo Abubakar, Executive Director of CCTGG.
“Democracy, rightly defined as the Government of the people by the people and for the people remains, to date, the best form of Government. Philosophers, thinkers, and world-acclaimed scholars have recognized it to be so.
“But for democracy to thrive, germinate and bring forth good and bountiful dividends, the three arms of government must work well.
“Given the fact that sovereignty belongs to the people, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial arms of the government must command the respect of the people.
“The citizens must trust and respect their leaders just as they must be allowed to freely elect their leaders.
“Judicial officers, most especially, are not expected to descend into the political arena. They are expected to be fair arbiters and as such, they should be seen as the officers of the law in the temple of justice.
“Integrity, more than anything else, should be their watchword. Integrity is the hallmark or better still should be the bastion of the arms (three) of government most especially, the Judiciary.
“This is because of the critical role the judiciary plays in society. It needs no repeating the fact that the judiciary, a very important and critical arm of government, is responsible for the adjudication and resolution of conflicts, issues and cases.
“It is in the light of this enormous power and influence of judicial officers on the stability of government and sustainability of democracy that the Coalition of Civil Society Group for Transparency and Good Governance Call for the immediate resignation of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of the Federation to vacate the exalted office.
“We are calling on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to vacate his office because that is the honourable thing to do. That is also the only way our democracy can grow and be deepened. Truth be told, judicial officers must be circumspect. They must weigh the Impact and the unintended consequences of their pronouncements,” he said.