The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to investigate the alleged meeting between the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
While making the appeal in a statement made available to pressmen, CNPP said there is a need to look into the reported UK meeting so as to lay to rest the controversy in the interest of justice and national security as Nigerians follow the case challenging Tinubu’s victory at the presidential poll.
News of the alleged meeting became widespread last week and was denied by the parties involved.
Despite the denial, CNPP, in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Willy Ezugwu, noted that an investigation into the matter is imperative for the preservation of the integrity of the judiciary.
“The Supreme Court under the current leadership has given several verdicts on political litigations in recent times which put the integrity of the apex court to question before this very damaging report by an online news portal on the alleged planned meeting between the CJN and the President-elect in London.
“Allowing the matter to slide without a public inquiry will be a recipe for breach of national security in the event that the Supreme Court rulings fail to favour some parties in election litigations currently before various election petition tribunals, especially the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal under the direct jurisdiction of the CJN.
“The CNPP, therefore, calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, and all relevant stakeholders to institute an open investigation into the reported planned meeting between CJN Ariwoola and President-elect Tinubu to lay to rest the controversy in the interest of justice and national security.
“This is imperative as the level of distrust, religious and tribal colourations permeating topics among supporters of different political camps in the country, especially now that the most damaging allegation on the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary became a media affair, should be taken very seriously to avoid a national catastrophe.
“It is also of national importance to ensure that the matter is openly investigated and the report made public as most Nigerian politicians and citizens who are aggrieved by the outcome of the 2023 general elections as conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC may resort to self-help in the event of perceived biases in the judicial pronouncements on the outcome by the tribunals.
“The CNPP then urges politicians to caution their supporters on the use of ethnicity and religion as campaign tools.
“Ethnic profiling is dangerous to peace and unity of the country and must be stopped.
“We, therefore, call on security agencies to ensure that all persons who were involved in inciting comments before, during, and after the 2023 general elections are prosecuted to serve as deterrence to others, otherwise the individuals and groups will remain bad examples and reference cases in the near future,” the statement reads.