A prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barrister Ahmed Raji, has called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to ignore mischief-makers over his comments in Rivers State, where he commended Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, for being among the G-5 governors.
LEADERSHIP reports that the G-5 is a group of five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is now known as Integrity Group, at the centre of crisis of confidence rocking the major opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The Senior Advocate said the CJN was not biased in any way with his comment.
Raji, who is the National President of the Oke-Ogun Development Consultative Forum (ODCF), the umbrella body of indigenes of Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State, where the CJN hails from, while reacting to the report on alleged partisanship against Ariwoola in the media, said the CJN remained non-partisan in his actions and utterances.
He said, “reports attributed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola where he was said to have expressed happiness that the Oyo State governor is among the coalition of five governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), recently christened ‘Integrity Group’ is the work of mischief-makers.”
Justice Ariwoola was in Rivers State on Thursday and Friday to attend the inauguration of some judiciary projects executed by the incumbent governor of the State, Nyesom Wike.
During a dinner in his honour, the CJN had jokingly spoke about the governor of his native Oyo State, Makinde, being a good friend to the host governor, Wike, because the former married from Rivers State.
Raji, who said he also attended the event and did not hear the CJN discuss partisan politics but only joked about the closeness that existed between the two governors, called on the media to scrutinise their information and follow the tenets of journalism to avoid feeding the general public with wrong news which might affect the integrity of the individual involved.
“I was at the said occasion at Port-Harcourt and there was never a time the Chief Justice of Nigeria said anything about being in support of the group of PDP five governors, he only made jokes about how the closeness between the Oyo State governor and Governor Wike is strong which he attributed to the fact that Governor Wike is ‘an in-law’ of Seyi Makinde.
“For anybody to think the Chief Justice of the Federation will come down to such level as discussing party issues is ridiculous. I enjoin media organizations to please scrutinize information their reporters bring to them to avoid creating crisis and smear the images of people,” he cautioned.
Recall that Governor Wike and four other PDP governors have resolved not to support the presidential ambition of the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, due to their claim that there is no equity and justice in the party’s leadership structure.
The five governors which include Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, have been at loggerheads with Atiku in their quest to have a Southerner as the party’s national chairman instead of the incumbent Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who is Northerner like Atiku.