Alleged Abuse Of Office: CSCJA Demands Resignation Of CJN, Justice Ariwoola


A Civil Society Organisation on the aegis of ‘Civil Society Consortium on Judicial Accountability (CSCJA)’ has demanded the immediate resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, over allegations of abuse of office and favouritism in the discharge of his duties.

The group also demanded for an independent panel of inquiry to investigate the allegations of nepotism and favouritism against the CJN.

CSCJA which said that its members are mainly lawyers of public interest particularly expressed concern of the Justice Ariwoola appointing his biological children as judicial officers in the recent appointments.

Members of the CSCJA which staged a protest on the road leading to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, specifically accused Justice Ariwoola of appointing his son, Olukayode Ariwoola Junior, as a Judge of the Federal High Court and also his daughter, Oluwakemi Victoria Ariwoola as a Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Members of the CSCJA carried different placards with various inscriptions which stated; ‘CJN should resign now’, ‘Stop judicial rascality’, ‘Say no to nepotism’, ‘Judicial accountability is a must’, ‘Judiciary is not a family affairs’, ‘Qualified lawyers deserves appointments’ among others.

The group also alleged that Justice Ariwoola since taking over as the CJN, conferred undue advantages on his family by using the National Judicial Council (NJC), of which he is the chairman to recommend the two children as High Court judges and also using the Federal Judicial Service Commission to fast track their appointment to the detriment of more qualified lawyers.

Speaking with journalists shortly after delivering the letter demanding the resignation of the CJN, the coordinator of the group, Mr Martin Obono, demanded that the office of the CJN should be unbundled to avoid been further abused as being  witnessed presently.

In the words of Obono; “The CJN’s appointments have raised serious concerns about potential conflicts of interest and the erosion of public confidence in the judiciary.

“More importantly, the violation of Rule 11 (iv) of the Code of Conducts for Judicial Officers in Nigeria which states that, “in the exercise of his administrative duties, a Judicial Officer should avoid nepotism and favouritism is being seriously violated.

“The legal system must uphold the highest ethical standards to ensure that all citizens receive fair and equitable treatment under the law. Nepotism in judicial appointments not only violates principles but also threatens to weaken the rule of law in Nigeria.

“It is imperative that the judiciary remain free from personal bias and favouritism to safeguard the principles of justice,” he said.

Accordingly, the CSCJA tasked Justice Ariwoola to take responsibility for his actions and resign from his position, stressing that the step is necessary in order to restore public confidence in the judiciary and demonstrate a commitment to ethical governance.

The group further said; “In line with the age-old judicial maxim nemo judex in causa sua, that Justice Olukayode Ariwoola be asked to recuse himself as Chairman of the National Judicial Council pending the determination of the investigation.

“That the investigation be conducted and concluded within the shortest possible time and the results of the investigation be made available to the petitioners and the public.

“That if Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is found to have breached the Code of Conduct, appropriate disciplinary measures be meted against him,” it said.

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