COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE MEETING OF THE SOUTH SOUTH GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD IN ABUJA ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 13, 2019.
An emergency assembly 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 assembly, referred to as on the occasion of the Governor of Bayelsa State, the Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, who can be Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, was attended by the Governors of Cross River State, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Delta States.
The assembly deliberated on the latest happenings on the Supreme Court involving the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen and resolved that the motion towards him constitutes a setback to the positive aspects of the nation’s democratic expertise of 20 years.
We observe that below Section 158(1) of the 1999 Constitution, the National Judicial Council, has ample powers to deal exhaustively with issues 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 applicable sanctions or disciplinary measures towards judicial officers as a matter of first occasion earlier than any additional steps.
The judicial pronouncements ina ` the instances 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 categorical provisions of the structure on this problem.
We observe that the try to tug the CJN to the CCT can be a grave and harmful escalation of the assault on establishments of state together with the National Assembly and the judiciary
We consider that the President, Muhammadu Buhari has a constitutional duty and big ethical obligation to defend our democracy.
Therefore, we take into account this step, which is immediately geared toward humiliating the nation’s highest judicial officer and a distinguished son of the area, as completely unacceptable as it’s reflective of the South South story of countless 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 contemporary.
We observe that the unlucky motion towards the CJN additional reinforces the notion that the Buhari administration has no regard for the feelings of Nigerians, particularly the folks of Niger Delta, and the rule of legislation
It is a proven fact that this administration has a penchant for flagrant disobedience of and disrespect for reputable and legitimate courtroom orders.
We count on President Buhari to know that democracy can’t survive with out respect for the structure, strict adherence to the rule of legislation, and separation of powers as enshrined within the structure.
We strongly consider that the regrettable improvement on the Supreme Court at this crucial time, when preparations for the overall elections are wobbling (with severe concern about INEC and safety businesses) is able to inflicting avoidable nervousness, pressure and attainable breakdown of legislation and order within the nation.
We observe additional that the motion undermines confidence not solely within the judiciary but in addition the electoral course of that has already commenced, in view of the pivotal function that the judiciary performs within the technique of electoral adjudication.
We affirm President Buhari ought to know that the continual assault on crucial establishments of state is a defining characteristic of a dictatorship, and that the President is obliged to stay as much as his phrase that he’s a born-again democrat, as he assured Nigerians in 2015.
Based on the foregoing, we hereby name on the President:
1) To condemn with none equivocation, this assault on the CJN and the judiciary particularly coming after comparable assaults on the National Assembly, to avoid wasting the nation from this embarrassment and international contempt.
2) We name on the CJN to disregard this so-called Court summon from the CCB and the provocative name for his resignation in some quarters.
While we’re not against a real combat towards corruption, such an motion should all the time be anchored on the rule of legislation.
We additionally decry the large buildup of arms by APC leaders and members throughout the Niger Delta with the intent to trigger mayhem and a normal breakdown of legislation and order throughout the elections.
Dated this present day 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.