Why Rivers Governor Visited CJN | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Rivers Governor Visited CJN

Posted: Jul 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Valentine Amanze, Lagos

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, explained that he visited the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on July 7 and 9, 2015, to brief the CJN in his capacity as the chairman of the National Judicial Council on the need to renew the appointment of the Acting Chief Judge of Rivers State and also the acting president of the Customary Court of Appeal.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, pointed out that the current tenure of the incumbents would expire by the end of August 2015, by which time the courts would be on vacation and the National Judicial Council might not be in a position to consider any request for the renewal of their reappointments.  The governor, however, explained that there was therefore an urgent need to expeditiously secure the renewal of the appointments of the acting chief judge of Rivers State and her counterpart of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal before the vacation begins.

Although the governor confirmed that he went to the CJN’s office on the said dates, he said that he never met the CJN.

Wike, however, said that considering the urgency and importance of his mission, he wrote to the CJN the next day, July 10, 2015, requesting his approval to renew the appointments of Justice Daisy Okocha and Justice Christy Gabriel Nwankwo as the acting Chief Judge of the state, and acting President of the Rivers State Customary Court of Appeal, respectively.

“The requests were premised on the need to avoid a sudden vacuum and ensure continuity in the administration of the state’s judiciary, pending the appointment of substantive occupants into the offices.

“There is nothing wrong in the governor, who is also a member of the Body of Benchers, going to see the CJN during official working hours on issues pertaining to the effective administration of justice in Rivers state,” he said.

Besides, the governor condemned linking his visit to the CJN with the ongoing election petition, stressing that “such is malicious, tendentious and a wicked attempt to drag the name of our most revered CJN and indeed the apex court into the murky waters of politics.

“It is unfortunate that the management of Punch Newspapers will allow itself to be used by politicians to denigrate and impugn the integrity of judiciary at the federal level with fabrications and outright falsehood laced in insinuations and innuendos.”

Wilke, however, advised the management of Punch Newspapers to caution its reporters to always base their reportage on facts and avoid actions that could trigger a crisis of confidence in judiciary just to satisfy some narrow political interests.