BusinessDay

CJN’s Port Harcourt remarks, harmless – CUPP

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has described as harmless and not signs of partisanship, the recent remarks of Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) that he was happy with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State membership of the G-5 governors led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

Ariwoola came under public criticism over his speech that identified with Makinde at a dinner after he commissioned two buildings to accommodate the Federal Judicial Service Commissioner’s South-South Liaison Office and the Justice Mary Peter-Odili Judicial Institute in Port Harcourt, Rivers State last week.

The Chief Justice was quoted to have said: “That is why we should not be scared to have these men of the integrity group. And I am happy that my own governor is among them because he would try to imitate his friend and in-law because we came here to marry for my governor.

“So, Governor Wike will always threaten that he will call back his sister if my governor fails to play ball. That is why you see him following his Excellency (Wike) because my governor is afraid of his wife being recalled.”

CUPP in a statement by its spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere said the attack and criticisms trailing the CJN over the comment is unnecessary, adding that it does not mean the CJN is partisan.

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Ugochinyere also said the opposition parties do not have any reason yet to doubt Ariwoola’s capacity as an eminent jurist.

He said the CJN is rebuilding the image of the Apex court after years of assault, hence the current attack is from mischief makers trying to twist his comment on G5 governors.

While noting that they still have confidence in Ariwola leadership of Supreme Court, Ugochinyere however said CUPP is watching closely.

The CUPP spokesperson said: “The opposition parties understand fully well that issues bordering on misconceptions and misrepresentations are not new in times like this when the country is preparing for general elections, and when the citizens seek a free and fair election and unbiased judiciary.

“But the recent statement by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, which has continued to attract mixed reactions is absolutely harmless.

“We however will continue to have close watch and won’t hesitate to speak up, if we think otherwise. We urge Nigerians to ignore the clamour for CJN’s sack, these are actions of mischief makers trying to twist his comment on G5 governors.”