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Dino Melaye calls out CJN, asks him to resign following his ‘scandalous conduct’

Melaye says the CJN’s recent remark violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola. (Punch)
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The former lawmaker said it was grave for the CJN to be involved in political matters in the country.

Melaye said this in a statement following a remark by Ariwoola about Governor Seyi Makinde and his membership of the aggrieved PDP G5 governors.

The CJN while speaking during a banquet held in his honour by the Rivers State Governor Wike, in Port Harcourt, Thursday, 24, 2022, said he was happy that Makinde was among the five PDP governors that oppose the presidential ambition of the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Reacting to the CNJ’s remark, Melaye said the remark has turned Ariwoola into a person that could not be trusted with fair dispensation of justice in Nigeria.

He said, “With the scandalous conduct of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, it has become expedient and a matter of honour that he resigns from the exalted office that he has demonstrably abused.

“If he chooses to prolong his stay in office, to continue to serve the interest of his political friends, he may choose to recuse himself as Chairman of the National Judicial Council, turn himself in as a suspect, proceed on leave and allow for a thorough evaluation of his conduct in line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Code of Conduct for judicial officers.

“The Chief Justice of Nigeria , Hon Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who has just demonstrated his familiarity with the workings of G5 Governors has by seeking to recruit members into that group turned himself into a suspect, who only can not be trusted with fair dispensation of justice in Nigeria, but a Chief Judicial Officer who has become tainted and unfit to superintend over the administration of Justice in Nigeria.”

Melaye also said the CJN’s remark violated the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, adding that Ariwoola failed to comply to “political silence.”

He said: “Graver still, the descent of the Chief Justice of the Federation into the political arena is a gross and indefensible violation of the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, section 5 of which states as follows:

“Right to freedom of expression (5.) A judge, like any other citizen, is entitled to freedom of expression, belief, association and assembly; but in exercising such rights, a judge shall always conduct himself in such manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the impartiality and independence of the judiciary.

“Accordingly, a judge shall act with such restraint as is necessary to: (a.) maintain public confidence in the impartiality and independence of the judiciary; (b.) avoid involvement in public discussion or discourse if his or her involvement could reasonably undermine confidence in his or her impartiality; (c.) avoid such occasions and circumstances where such involvement may unnecessarily expose the Judge to political attacks or be inconsistent with the dignity of a Judicial officer; and/or (d.) adhere strictly to political silence.”

He further said the CJN by his pronouncement “desecrated the dignity of the Judiciary, demonstrated partiality, eroded public confidence,” adding that he “acted in a manner that is inconsistent with the character, colour and calling of his exalted office.”

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