Allow judiciary to function, CJN tells politicians



The newly sworn-in Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has as admonished politicians in Nigeria to allow the judicial arm of government to do its job as constitutionally expected as the 2023 elections approach.


Ariwoola, who spoke at the weekend in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, during a reception organised in his honour by the Oyo State Government, also warned the judiciary to leave politics for the politicians.



The event had in attendance, justices of the Supreme Court, members of Oyo State Judiciary, top lawyers and other eminent Nigerians among whom are Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.


Others are Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Okeziea Ikpeazu of Abia State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.



Speaking further, Justice Ariwoola stressed that their dockets are full, having asked for the amendment of the country’s constitution at different points in time.


He said: “We are ready and waiting and we shall not let down Nigerians. Let the politicians leave the judiciary alone for us to function.”



“Let them do their things and let us do our things. Law is not static; what we apply is the law as it is made. But our dockets are full. We have asked for an amendment to our constitution over and over again.”


“There are many matters that should not find their way to the supreme court in 2022. Many are indeed domestic matters of the political parties. Why bring that to the court for us to adjudicate when your constitution has shown you the way.”


“Follow the way. And the constitution of a party remains inferior to the constitution of Nigeria. So, wherever there is conflict, the constitution of Nigeria prevails. But wherever the party misses the point, we will bring back the party online; that is it.”


“So, we are waiting, praying fervently, God helping us, this country will not be divided, this country not collapse in our time and in your time. We promise to do our best unscratched and we shall not let you down, we shall not fail Nigerians,” Ariwoola vowed.


In his message at the reception, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who spoke on behalf of other invited governors opined that God at this time needed a good leadership in the judiciary that will make sure the country’s democracy survives, hence the appointment of Justice Ariwoola as the new CJN.


He posited that if the country’s democracy must survive, there was a need for the judiciary to play active roles.


“I am not a prophet, but I think that at this time, God needed leadership in the judiciary that will make sure Nigeria’s democracy survives. If Nigeria must survive, the judiciary has a great role to play.”


“God wants you (Ariwoola) to make sure Nigeria does not break, to make sure Nigeria survives and her democracy survives. And that is why I think at this crucial time, you are the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Be firm, be strong, and with the support of your colleagues, you will survive,” Wike assures Ariwoola.


He then charged the new CJN to walk and carry his colleagues along for a successful tenure in office, now that leadership has beckoned on him.


While speaking, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, maintained that his administration has created the enabling environment for the judicial arm of government to carry out its constitutional responsibilities, because it recognised that it is the bastion of hope for the common man.


Expressing his delight that the state produced Nigeria’s Number 5 Citizen in its history, the governor, explained that the development has heralded many pacesetting achievements for the state.


Makinde said: “I thank God for tonight and for the fact that the Supreme Court was powerfully moved to Oyo State, and what you see here is Nigeria. We have my Lords from different states and geopolitical zones of this country.”


“Most times, they come together, align and make decisions in the interest of this great country. We are glad you are here with us and feel highly privileged to have you here.”


“For me, this is a turning point. For the first time in the history of Oyo State, we have produced the Number 5 citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, old things have passed away and things have become new.”


“I am just glad and overjoyed that we are able to have this get-together to celebrate one of our own. I am short of words. I am thankful to God Almighty for this day and I see it as the beginning of many Pacesetter things that will be happening in Oyo State.”


“So, I thank you all for making it to this event and look forward to many of these. One thing we can take away from this gathering is that as for me, and other politicians, who recognise the fact that the judiciary is the hope of the common man, we will continue to allow the judiciary to function independently.”


“The judiciary will be allowed to continue to carry out its constitutional responsibilities. Once again, For Oyo State, we are delighted that we are able to witness this day,” the governor said.



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