A foremost lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barrister Ahmed Raji has reacted to a news report by online media that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, was sighted at the United Kingdom in a wheelchair, purportedly in a meeting with the President-elect of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying the report is false and aimed at tarnishing the image of the apex court.
Raji stated that on Thursday evening at Ibadan, Justice Ariwoola went to London on Saturday for his routine medical check-up and returned to Nigeria on Thursday morning.
Media reports on Wednesday indicated that Tinubu left Nigeria for medical reasons after rigorous political activities that culminated in his victory over the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar and Labor Party’s Peter Obi, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Also, a Press Statement issued by the Director, Media, and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga, on Thursday refuted the report of the clandestine meeting with a claim that the President-elect left Nigeria on Tuesday and has not been to London till Thursday when the CJN arrived back in Nigeria.
In his statement, Barrister Raji said the report was another malicious attempt by some individuals to tarnish the image of the Supreme Court and the CJN after they have made attempts at attaching his name to some political parties to preempt outcomes of the legal tussles before the apex court.
“It is in the news since Tuesday evening that Tinubu was traveling to Europe for medical reasons as well as for lesser hajj, further reports indicated that he is in France to meet with his medical doctor, why would somebody now link that to the CJN that has left Nigeria for UK since Saturday to observe his own medical session and just came back today (Thursday) as meeting?
“Our politicians need to allow due process to take control, election matters are in the law courts, but that does not mean that the law Lords will not live their normal lives as human beings, Tinubu is in France and the CJN was at London, where is the contact? he asked”
Barrister Raji urged Nigerians not to be hoodwinked by politicians to paint the judiciary in bad colour, so as to achieve their interests, as far as the 2023 election is concerned.