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‘You’re partisan’ — group stages protest, asks CJN to resign over comment on Integrity Group

A group identified as the “Coalition of Civil Societies”, on Tuesday, staged a protest asking Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), to resign for being allegedly partisan.

Recently, Ariwoola had said that he is happy that Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo, is part of the “Integrity Group” led by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers.

The group, which is made up of stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been at the forefront of calls for Iyorchia Ayu to resign as the party’s national chairman in the interest of “fairness”.

The protesters displayed placards that read ‘We demand an independent judiciary, peaceful 2023 general election’, ‘You are partisan, Ariwoola resign now’, among others.

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The police, however, used tear gas to disperse the protesters around the federal ministry of justice in the federal capital territory (FCT).

Speaking with journalists before the police arrived, Olayinka Dada, the group’s spokesman, said the CJN’s utterances could make Nigerians not trust the electoral process.

“Seeing the hard fought democracy under threat as we are witnessing now is nonetheless a misnomer. Nigerians will resist this affront with all legitimacy of their convictions,” Dada said.

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“A few days ago, Nigerians woke up to the reckless partisan interference of the chief justice of Nigeria, Tajudeen Olukayode Ariwoola, in a political dispute capable of making Nigerians distrust the electoral processes leading to the 2023 general election.

“The chief justice of Nigeria, in an unholy visitation to Rivers state, alleged to be a bought commissioning exercise, made reckless statements in favour of his new found political friend, governor Nyesom Wike.

“The coalition of civil societies of Nigeria has since analysed his statements at the commissioning and came to the conclusion that democracy is indeed in danger.

“How do we explain that the man saddled with the impartial role of dispensing justice is now on the side of a particular group in a political dispute?”

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