The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed an insinuation that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola was subjected to interrogation by the Department of the State Service (DSS) over alleged pro-Wike political remarks.
The apex court also debunked claims that five Justices of the Court have demanded resignation from office by the CJN over the same issue.
In a statement by the Director of Information and Press of the Court, Dr Festus Akande, the apex Court warned those peddling the rumours to desist in their own interests.
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The reaction of the Supreme Court is in response to a publication by an online medium, which reported that Justice Ariwoola has been grilled by DSS over his alleged political remarks in Port Harcourt at a public function.
The statement read in part, “We have read with dismay and shock a publication with the above caption by an online media outfit, “People’s Gazette,” alleging that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, was grilled by the DSS for the remarks he made in ‘Port Harcourt at a state banquet’ and that ‘five Justices of Supreme Court are calling for his resignation.’
“Just like our earlier press statement debunking this barefaced falsehood and mischievous antics aimed at scoring very cheap and unpopular political gains in this era of aggressive and mudslinging politicking, we wish to state in very clear and unmistaken terms, that this is yet another round of the avalanche of lies that have been disingenuously packaged by individuals with an unenviable pedigree to malign the character and personality of not just the CJN but several other Judicial Officers that they considered to be too unpliable and principled to be approached for any form of underhand dealings, especially as election cases (petitions) will soon be streaming to the tribunals (courts) for adjudication.”
According to the statement, it had become very obvious that those with sinister motives have perfected plans to unleash all manner of coordinated attacks on Judicial Officers, starting from the CJN with a view to arm-twisting and blackmailing and ridiculing them to silence, ultimately for their ulterior motives.
The statement further added that the publication is laced with tissues of lies, non-existent sources of information and unsubstantiated claims and it clearly showed the unwholesome intentions of the authors.
It also clarified that no single Justice of the Supreme has asked the CJN to resign, and no Justice of the Supreme Court has or is writing any letter of protest whatsoever.
“Neither the CJN nor the Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court or other Courts for that matter, are politicians, so, none of them should be dragged into politics in any form whatsoever.
“Our advice to this set of rabble-rousers whose stock in trade is character assassination via dissemination of false information to create tension and disaffection is to have a rethink and engage in meaningful productive activities that will move the nation forward. A word is enough for the wise,” the statement said.