*Alleges Misconception And Misrepresentation Of CJN’s Statement

The Supreme Court of Nigeria has debunked viral media reports that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Olukayode Ariwoola had expressed happiness that the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde is a member of the G5 Governors.

The media has been awash in the past few days with statements supposedly credited to the CJN expressing happiness that Seyi Making is a member of the G5, a PDP powe bloc championed by five sitting Governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

In a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer by the Director of Press and Information in the Supreme Court, Dr. Akande Festus, the CJN never at any point during his remarks at the State Banquet said such.

The statement reads in part, “Our attention has been drawn to a publication with the above caption making the rounds in both conventional and social media. We wish to state unequivocally clear that the CJN, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON had never at any point said such during his brief remarks at the State Banquet organised as part of the events lined up for the commissioning of the two Judiciary projects undertaken by the Rivers state government.”

According to the Dr Akande, issues bordering on misconceptions and misrepresentations of this nature are not always strange in times like this when the country is preparing for general elections, as some people may want to take advantage of every opportunity to score very cheap goals.

“As we all know, this is the era of aggressive and even unconventional politicking, so, there’s nothing that will not be heard or seen at this crucial time, especially between now and February 2023, when the general elections will be conducted. People say whatever they choose to say, just to please their selfish interests and inordinate desires. We can’t really pinpoint where such barefaced falsehood is coming from; and certainly, we don’t also know at what point the CJN said he was happy that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was a member of the now christened “Integrity Group” or “G-5 Governors.””

According to the statement, the CJN and other senior Judicial Officers drawn from different parts of the country were in Port Harcourt on Thursday and Friday, being the 24th and 25th days of November, 2022 to commission the two buildings to accommodate the Federal Judicial Service Commission’s South-South Liaison Office and the Hon. Justice Mary Peter-Odili Judicial Institute, that were conceptualized and constructed by the Rivers State Government. Even at the State Banquet organised as part of the events, the CJN made it clear in his brief remarks, that he (CJN) was not in Port Harcourt for the State Banquet but simply to commission the two projects as a mark of honour for the Judiciary and Hon. Justice Mary Peter-Odili, CFR, JSC, Rtd and later go back to Abuja thereafter.

Similarly, he said he was very surprised to see the “G-5 Governors” (“Integrity Group Governors”), just as he equally expressed the same surprise when he saw them in Ibadan, Oyo State, during the reception organised in his honour by his state government in October, 2022. His surprise particularly stemmed from the fact that he saw his own State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde (who incidentally is a member of the “G-5 Governors”) at the Port Harcourt occasion.

Clarifying the misrepresented comments of the CJN, the statement added, “He equally stated jocularly that being that HE Engineer Makinde married from Rivers State and is equally very close to HE Nyesome Wike, he would be able to replicate the developmental strides of the latter in Oyo State for the good of the citizenry.”

According to the Supreme Court Director of Press, such comment ought to elicit applause and not myopic misrepresentations, as governance is all about positive comparisons and healthy competitions. “Anyone or group of individuals making these unconscionable assumptions and pervading the misinformation are by implication, creating the impression that it is now a crime for the CJN to have come from Oyo state, which coincidentally, has a member of the group, Engineer Seyi Makinde, as the Governor.”

“Let it be noted that anything said, assumed, presumed, reported or placed in the public domain outside the above facts, is simply a mere figment of the imagination of such authors and don’t in anyway represent what the CJN said in Port Harcourt, as we are not ready to join issues with such purveyors of misinformation” the statement concluded.

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