Nyesom Wike, Justice Is No Longer For Sale To The Highest Bidder

By Inibehe Effiong

As a lawyer, Nysesom Wike should have considered the implication of him seeking to have audience with the Chief Justice of Nigeria when the petition challenging his “election” as the governor of Rivers State is pending before the Election Tribunal. No matter his motives, the fact is that there is no justification for such nocturnal visitation.
As a lawyer, he should have adverted his mind to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers which debars a judicial officer, including the CJN (who is the highest judicial officer and head of the third arm of government) from associating with political office holders.

It is even more serious when the CJN, who will be the one to empanel the Justices of the Supreme Court to hear any further appeal from the Court of Appeal arising from the decision of the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal is the very person Wike sought audience with. How will the other party-the pertitioner, feel about it and what will be their conclusion?

The defence that he went there to “appreciate” the CJN for mandating the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to administer the oath of office on him is laughable. In what way did he intend to “appreciate His Lordship?

We know how the average politician in this clime appreciates those that have done them a fovour. But in this instance, the Learned CJN was merely exercising his constitutional responsibilty. Did Wike not thank the CJ of Bayelsa and invariably the CJN after subscribing to the oath of office and oath of allegiance on May 29, 2015?

Also, the explanation that he went there to consult with the CJN on the appointment of a substantive Chief Judge for Rivers State is ludicrous. Consult in what way? When did governors start holding sessions with the CJN on how to appoint a state chief judge? What happened to official correspondence if at all there was need for one? And is Wike the most appropriate authority to convey any such concerns to the CJN? And will it even be proper to address such correspondence directly to the CJN rather than going through the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court?
Wike should be careful. We are no longer in the era when justice was for sale; for the highest bidder. He ostensibly went there in connection with his case at the Tribunal. That is my conclusion. You may disagree but my mind thinks so. The same Wike whose lawyers have colluded with INEC to violate the order of the Tribunal for inspection of election materials is now trying to rubbish the respectable Justice Mahmud Mohammed. What insolence!

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