COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF THE SOUTH SOUTH GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD IN ABUJA ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2019.
An emergency meeting of the governors of the states of the South South geopolitical zone, held on the Bayelsa State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja on Sunday, January 13, 2019.
The meeting, known as on the event of the Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, who may be Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, was attended by the Governors of Cross River State, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta States.
The meeting deliberated on the newest happenings on the Supreme Court involving the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen and resolved that the movement in the direction of him constitutes a setback to the constructive facets of the nation’s democratic experience of 20 years.
We observe that under Section 158(1) of the 1999 Constitution, the National Judicial Council, has ample powers to deal exhaustively with points pertaining to allegations of misconduct and self-discipline of Judicial officers. Specifically, the NJC has the powers and clear procedures for investigating allegations, and recommending relevant sanctions or disciplinary measures in the direction of judicial officers as a matter of first event sooner than any further steps.
The judicial pronouncements ina ` the cases of FGN Vs Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court (January 9, 2018) and Justice Ngajinwa Vs FGN 2017 on the CCT have given validation to the explicit provisions of the construction on this downside.
We observe that the attempt to tug the CJN to the CCT generally is a grave and dangerous escalation of the assault on institutions of state along with the National Assembly and the judiciary
We contemplate that the President, Muhammadu Buhari has a constitutional responsibility and massive moral obligation to defend our democracy.
Therefore, we keep in mind this step, which is straight away geared towards humiliating the nation’s highest judicial officer and a distinguished son of the world, as fully unacceptable because it’s reflective of the South South story of numerous marginalization and intimidation. The unceremonious elimination of former Acting Director General of the Department of State Service, Mathew Seiyefa and his substitute continues to be very up to date.
We observe that the unfortunate movement in the direction of the CJN further reinforces the notion that the Buhari administration has no regard for the emotions of Nigerians, notably the parents of Niger Delta, and the rule of laws
It is a undeniable fact that this administration has a penchant for flagrant disobedience of and disrespect for respected and bonafide courtroom orders.
We rely on President Buhari to know that democracy cannot survive with out respect for the construction, strict adherence to the rule of laws, and separation of powers as enshrined inside the construction.
We strongly contemplate that the regrettable enchancment on the Supreme Court at this important time, when preparations for the general elections are wobbling (with extreme concern about INEC and security companies) is ready to inflicting avoidable nervousness, stress and attainable breakdown of laws and order inside the nation.
We observe further that the movement undermines confidence not solely inside the judiciary however as well as the electoral course of that has already commenced, in view of the pivotal perform that the judiciary performs inside the strategy of electoral adjudication.
We affirm President Buhari must know that the continuous assault on essential institutions of state is a defining attribute of a dictatorship, and that the President is obliged to remain as a lot as his phrase that he is a born-again democrat, as he assured Nigerians in 2015.
Based on the foregoing, we hereby identify on the President:
1) To condemn with none equivocation, this assault on the CJN and the judiciary notably coming after comparable assaults on the National Assembly, to keep away from losing the nation from this embarrassment and worldwide contempt.
2) We identify on the CJN to ignore this so-called Court summon from the CCB and the provocative identify for his resignation in some quarters.
While we’re not in opposition to an actual fight in the direction of corruption, such an movement ought to on a regular basis be anchored on the rule of laws.
We moreover decry the massive buildup of arms by APC leaders and members all through the Niger Delta with the intent to set off mayhem and a traditional breakdown of laws and order all through the elections.
Dated at the present time January 13, 2019
The Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State
HE Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State
HE, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade, Governort of Cross River State
HE Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State
HE Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State.