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The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has in a letter dated Friday, 24th March 2023, urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Olukayode Ariwoola to respond to allegations against him over his alleged visit to London, the United Kingdom, disguised as physically challenged old man on a wheelchair in a bid to hold a meeting with the President-elect of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ahead of petitions against his declaration as the winner of the 2023 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Specifically, the Intersociety Nigeria’s CJN must, publicly and truthfully, respond before God, man and the law, within 48 hours, to the five weighty allegations against his person by the People’s Gazette, chiefly that the CJN dishonorably and dishonestly sneaked out of Nigeria to UK in a wheelchair as a physically-challenged old man only to surface hale and hearty in UK hotel and moved about unaided, with intent to deceive Nigerians and have a clandestine meeting with INEC-declared ‘President-Elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the purpose of compromising the 2023 presidential polls judicial proceedings and outcomes.
The letter reads:
Mr. Justice Olukayode L. Ariwoola
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)
Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria
The Supreme Court Headquarters
Three-Arms-Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
You, Mr. Justice L. Olukayode Ariwoola As Nigeria’s CJN Must Publicly And Truthfully Respond Before God, Man And Law Within 48 Hours (Two Working Days From Today, Friday, 23rd March 2023) To The Five Weighty Allegations Against Your Person By The People’s Gazette, Chiefly That: “You Dishonorably And Dishonestly Sneaked Out Of Nigeria To UK In A Wheelchair As A Physically-Challenged Old Man Only To Surface Hale And Hearty In UK Hotel And Moved About Unaided-With Intent To Deceive Nigerians And Have A Clandestine Meeting With INEC-Declared ‘President-Elect’ (Ahmed Bola Tinubu) For Purpose Of Compromising The 2023 Presidential Poll Judicial Proceedings And Outcomes”.
Intersociety Would Want To Know From You, Sir, If Such Weighty Allegations Against You Are True Or Not
- That If It Is True That You As CJN And Justice Of The Supreme Court Of Nigeria Is Battling With Vested Interests Or Conflict Of Interests Regarding The Pending 2023 Presidential Election Petitions Owing To Your Widely Reported Affinity With INEC-Declared ‘President-Elect’ (Ahmed Bola Tinubu), Contrary And Injurious To The Principles Of ‘Nemo Judex In Causa Sua (a natural justice principle that holds that a judge cannot judge a case he or she has an interest or strongly accused of having an interest) And “Audi Alteram Partem” (a natural justice principle of letting the other side be heard in an unbiased manner and circumstance), You, Mr. Chief Justice Of Nigeria Should Honorably Step Aside From Headship Of The Apex Presidential Election Petitions’ Tribunal And Hands Off Your Influencing And Controlling Authority Roles In The Lower (Appeal Court) And Apex (Supreme Court) Tribunals Including Their Proceedings And Outcomes
- That If The Five Weighty Allegations Leveled Against You By The People’s Gazette As Justice Of The Supreme Court Of Nigeria And Chief Justice Of Nigeria Are Partly Or Wholly True With Consequences Of Propelling Loss Of Public Trust And Confidence, You, Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola Should Resign As CJN And Voluntarily Retire As Justice Of The Supreme Court Of Nigeria
International stands for the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law; Nigeria’s leading and uncompromising democracy, human rights, citizens’ security and safety and rule of law advocacy Organization since 2008. It must be recalled that in 2010 during the ‘Ayo Salami’ (then Court of Appeal President) and ‘Kastina Alu’ (then Chief Justice of Nigeria) scandals, it was our petition to the NJC that was officially adopted for purposes of determining the authenticity of weighty allegations leveled against the then two top judicial officers bordering on Osun and Sokoto Governorship Election Petitions’ Tribunals’ bribery and interference scandals. The adoption of Intersociety’s petition by NJC was owing to its neutrality and this was announced via a press conference by NJC and published in several print, electronic and audio-visual media across Nigeria. This can be cross-checked, Sir, in the records of the Supreme Court of Nigeria or the National Judicial Council.
Highlighting Five Weighty Allegations Against You (CJN) Rattling The World
According to latest edition of People’s Gazette, a respected local and global investigative news publishing outfit in Nigeria dated Thursday, 23rd March 2023: 1. “You, (Justice Olukayode (Lateef) Ariwoola of South-West Muslim Faith) Mr. Chief Justice of Nigeria was sighted on 11th March 2023 departing the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and was pushed in a wheelchair as a physically challenged old man through the terminals to board a British Airways Flight”. 2. “You (Mr. Justice Ariwoola, 64 years old) upon arrival in London, was also wheeled into a hotel, downtown and that immediately after checking into the hotel, You (Mr. Court Justice Ariwoola) abandoned the wheelchair and started moving around the facility unaided even when you are not known with any (chronic) physical disabilities and that you were also sighted standing alone in the elevator days after”.
- That “with Mr. Bola Tinubu, INEC-declared ‘President-Elect’ now in Europe, he would be meeting with you in your capacity as Supreme Court Justice and Chief Justice of Nigeria in a secret arrangement to discuss issues (officially) unknown to Nigerians and that you deliberately left the country more than a week ahead of Tinubu to avoid any suspicion about why both of you disappeared (from Nigeria) at once”. 4. That the allegations against you by the People’s Gazette were so factual and assuring that they further disclosed that “they are withholding your photos and the specific hotel you stayed so as to protect the source central to their story”. 5. That the respected investigative online outfit also quoted a Supreme Court source as “disclosing that you (Mr. Justice Ariwoola/CJN) wanted to meet Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu to discuss issues that may arise from the budding legal challenge to his (Tinubu) declaration as ‘president-elect’, including whether he should be worried about the petitions recently filed by opposition parties and that you would either assure him (Tinubu) of victory in court or that he should be worried about the dimension the petitions may take through the court stages”.
Your (CJN) Affinity With Tinubu Is A Serious Threat To Atiku, Obi And Ors v Bola Tinubu, If True
The allegation about your (CJN Ariwoola)’s affinity with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has continued to gather momentum and public apprehensions including being seen by many, if not most Nigerians and international democracy and rule of law watchers as a serious threat to incoming proceedings and outcomes of the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions’ Tribunals at the Court of Appeal (Court of First Instance), to be terminated at the Supreme Court (Court of Last Instance). According to the respected People’s Gazette: “Mr. Ariwoola’s apparent affinity with Mr. Tinubu has continued despite the raging challenge to his declaration as president-elect and the ultimate role the Supreme is expected to play in the legal battle”. If the above is true, it is a serious danger to the principles of natural justice grounded in: ‘Nemo Judex In Causa Sua (a natural justice principle that holds that a judge cannot judge a case he or she has an interest or strongly accused of having an interest) And “Audi Alteram Partem” (a natural justice principle of letting the other side be heard in an unbiased manner and circumstance) upon which the referenced presidential electoral matters ought to be predicated. You are hereby called upon to publicly speak on the issue as it affects negatively or positively the referenced pending presidential electoral court matters.
Resign As CJN And Retire If Your Affinity With Tinubu To Thwart 2023 Presidential Matters Is True
If truly that you, Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola and Chief Justice of Nigeria disguised yourself as “a physically challenged old man in a wheel chair and boarded a British Airway out of Nigeria into a UK hotel where you started moving about unaided and without a wheelchair; looking hale and hearty-with intents to clandestinely meet with Ahmed Bola Tinubu to compromise the 2023 Presidential Election Petitions’ matters”, then you must resign as CJN and retire as a serving Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Also, if true, it is a clear case of dishonorable and dishonest conduct unbecoming of a Judicial Officer of your status and a serious dent to the exalted office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Owing to so much controversies your widely reported affinity with Ahmed Bola Tinubu have generated including many forcing Nigerians to lose confidence and trust on Nigerian Judiciary under your watch over their fear that “the Judiciary under your watch and your affinity with Tinubu, is incurably incapable to give credible, satisfactory and popular justice in the 2023 Presidential Poll matters, Intersociety therefore persuasively and prayerfully calls on you to recuse and disqualify yourself from the headship of the Apex Court Panel of Justices into the matters when they are tabled at the Apex Court. The composition of the Seven-Person Panel of Supreme Justices for the matter must also be ethno-religiously and gender balanced.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law
/s E. Umeagbalasi
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc., M.Sc.
Board Chair @ Intersociety
/s C. Umeche
Chinwe Umeche Esquire
Head, Democracy and Good Governance Program @Intersociety
Chidinma Udegbunam Esquire
Head, Campaign and Publicity Department @ Intersociety
Head, Contacts and Mobilization Department @ Intersociety