Probe CJN’s London Trip To Save Judiciary—Group Begs Buhari

March 27, 2023
CJN olukayode ariwoola

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to investigate the rumoured visit of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to the United Kingdom for medical reasons.

It was alleged in a report that Justice Arowoola travelled to the UK to have a secret meeting with the President-elect, Mr Bola Tinubu.

Worried by the development, a group known as the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has appealed to Mr Buhari and all security agencies to probe the matter as it was later confirmed that the CJN was in London, though not to have a meeting with Mr Tinubu as alleged.

In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Mr Willy Ezugwu, CNPP said to preserve the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary, an investigation must be ordered.

The CNPP noted that despite the denials of the plans to hold such meetings by the two personalities, “the integrity of both the chief judicial personality in Nigeria and that of the President-Elect have been called to question, especially in view of the widespread criticisms of the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s rulings on political matters since the 2023 general elections.”

“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 the 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 CNPP warned.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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