The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Wednesday, gave security agencies in the country the nod to investigate allegation that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State procures judgments from the Supreme Court.
The CJN who is currently attending a conference in Canada, said his attention was drawn to reports concerning allegation by one Joe Igbokwe, to the effect that Wike buys Justice from the apex court after killings in his home state.
Justice Onnoghen decried that such denigrating allegation was capable of degrading the judiciary as an institution, even as he urged security and relevant anti-corruption agencies in the country to commence investigations with a view to identifying the said Justices of the Supreme Court.
However, the CJN maintained that security agencies were duty bound to take necessary steps against Igbokwe if his allegation is found to be false, so as to protect the institution of the state.
A statement that was signed by media aide to the CJN, Mr. Awassam Bassey, read:
“The attention of the Honourable, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), His Lordship, Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has been drawn to media reports about allegations by a certain Joe Igbokwe, to the effect that Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, buys justice from the Supreme Court after killings in his home state of Rivers.
“The comment, which states inter alia: ‘Wike will not have the audacity and temerity to kill again and run to the Supreme Court to buy justice’, is reportedly contained in a social media platform which has made its way into online and traditional Nigerian media.
“The implication of this statement is, first and foremost, that Mr. Igbokwe has evidence to show that Mr. Nyesom Wike is a killer, and secondly that upon such killings, the Governor runs to the Supreme Court to buy justice.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no appeal has ever been filed at the Supreme Court wherein Mr Wike was accused of murder.
“Nevertheless, the Hon. Chief Justice calls on relevant security agencies, including those involved in fighting corruption, to begin investigations into the said comments with a view to identifying the said Justices of the Supreme Court.
“If, however, it is found that the allegations are false, the agencies have a duty to take necessary steps, in accordance with the law, to protect the institutions of state.
“Where institutions of state are unjustifiably maligned at will, they may be rendered ineffective and the peace, security and democratic governance of the nation might be endangered or compromised.
“The killing of any human being is an offence that is punishable by death and should never be taken lightly.
“The Hon. CJN continues to encourage the general public to use only lawful means in the pursuit of remedies for their grievances.
“The Hon. CJN, once again, assures Nigerians that the Judiciary of this great nation remains committed to the discharge of its responsibilities, in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,without fear or favour; affection or ill-will”.