The uncertain political situation in Nigeria took a new twist weekend as the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) USA asked the Chief Justice of the country, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to step aside.

In a statement wired to The Southern Examiner by Executive Director of NADECO USA, Lloyd Ukwu, from Washington, DC, the pro-democracy group says the chief justice appears to have descended into the political arena.

“Justice Ariwoola’s covert and overt actions and utterances over the last several months are indicative of a compromised judge with little of the integrity required to hold such an esteemed office”, NADECO says.

The argument of the foremost pro-democracy organisation is that at a time as trying as this for Nigeria’s democracy, for the unity of the country, and for the credibility and independence of the judiciary; it has unequivocally joined numerous well-meaning Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to demand the immediate resignation of Justice Ariwoola

“Our demand stems from the justification and basic tenets that a fair and independent judicial branch is the cornerstone of our democratic system of government.

“An independent judiciary is not an end in itself, but a means of ensuring the rule of law, since only by being free from outside influences can judges decide cases on the law and facts alone”, says NADECO.

Continuing, the daring group that fought for the abortion of military dictatorship in the country alleged that barely a month after being sworn into the highly exalted and sacred office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ariwoola did the unthinkable.

NADECO is recalling vividly an unguarded open endorsement made by the CJN in support of the G5 PDP Governors during his visit to Port Harcourt last November.

NADECO says the Chief justice recently took an unexplained absence without leave (AWOL) outside of Nigeria, only for Nigerians to find out from investigative news report that he was holed up in a London hotel allegedly awaiting a meeting with the controversial President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in March 2023.

According to NADECO, “for a CJN who took the oath of office in October 2022, barely five months ago, Justice Ariwoola has lost the confidence and trust of many Nigerians.

“This trust is always an absolute requirement for the CJNs, because in the eyes of the public, anyone who occupies this esteemed office is seen as man who is saddled with the enormous responsibility to steer the affairs of the nation’s apex court without any form of biases or favouritism. This explains the common axiom that they are often seen as the people’s last hope.

“NADECO knows that the memory of Nigerians would not be that blurred or lost to forget the event of four years ago, where in 2019, the former CJN Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen was forced out of office by President Buhari replacing him with Tanko Mohammed using unconfirmed trumped-up charges against him, barely weeks after the 2019 presidential elections.

“NADECO wants to know why the same President Buhari, the acquiescent National Judicial Council (NJC) and the relevant regulatory and security agencies have not called on the CJN to resign with the 2023 presidential election adjudication at stake, as was in 2019 Buhari’s reelection?

“Under these circumstances, the CJN, in the person of Justice Ariwoola has become tainted, partisan, and a damaged good, and therefore can no longer be deemed fit or seen to deliver his duties unbiasedly in accordance with the Constitution and the dictates of ethics guiding the calling of his profession.

“Nigerians cannot afford to have a President-elect and a CJN who are both suspects in the business of buying and selling votes and justice respectively.

“Consequently, NADECO urges the CJN to resign immediately as he has become dispensable baggage to Nigeria’s Administration of Justice, by his serial acts of indiscretion and lack of circumspection.

“Resigning from this office would be the rightful thing to do in order to preserve the sanctity of the judiciary in Nigeria, restore the hope of Nigeria in the judicial system, and spare Nigeria from international embarrassment.

“NADECO also wishes to use this opportunity to renew its call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman to resign. He and the CJN unfortunately constitute major hurdles in the march to install the Rule of Law and Good Governance toward the liberation of Nigeria.”

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The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Nigeria’s premier pro-democracy group based in Washington D.C. Established in 1994, NADECO was founded by a coalition of prominent politicians and pro-democracy campaigners from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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    The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Nigeria’s premier pro-democracy group based in Washington D.C. Established in 1994, NADECO was founded by a coalition of prominent politicians and pro-democracy campaigners from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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      Recent Post

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