NJC distances self, CJN from letter purportedly appointing Kebbi CJ
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has distanced itself and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, from a letter purporting to empower the Governor of Kebbi State to appoint the Chief Judge of the High Court.
The NJC, in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Soji Oye, stated that the said letter, dated July 14 did not emanate from it and was not signed by CJN, who is its Chairman.
The statement reads: “The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to a fake letter dated 14 July 2023, purported to have emanated from the council, and signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, GCON. “The fake letter titled: ‘Order of Seniority of Judges of the High Court of Kebbi State and recommendation of Justice Umar Abubakar as the substantive Chief Judge of Kebbi State,’ addressed to the Chief Judge, stating ‘that under section 10 of the existing law of Kebbi state 1996, His Excellency, the Governor, has the power to determine Seniority of Judges and the National Judicial Council has no power to override or reverse the decision of His Excellency.’
“It further stated that ‘the office of the Head of Court/Chief Judge is purely a political appointment to be decided by the Governor of a state.’
“For the purpose of clarification and avoidance of doubt, the National Judicial Council hereby emphatically disclaimed the letter as there is no iota of truth in it, and no such letter ever emanated from the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria or the council.
“The public is hereby advised to discountenance the letter and its content.
“Meanwhile, the council has reported the unfortunate case to the relevant security agencies with a view to investigating and bringing to book whoever is behind this dastardly act.”