wikeChief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, yesterday dismissed insinuations by a national daily (not Nigerian Pilot) that he has met with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in connection with the Rivers State Governorship Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
A national daily had reported that the governor met with the CJN twice in the Supreme Court Complex in Abuja.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the CJN, Mr. Awuraka Yusuf Isah, reads: “Our attention has been drawn to insinuations in some dailies that the Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike had met with the Honourable, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed, during one of his visits to the office of the CJN on O6 July and 08 July this year.
“However, we would not have ordinarily wished to react to such stories except for the misinformation and the erroneous impression it may cast in the mind of the public. We wish to state with all emphasis that the CJN at no time had an audience with Governor Wike. This include before, on and after the said date.
“For further clarification, during the week of the purported first visit by the Governor Wike on July 6, 2015, his Lordship was away in Saudi Arabia performing Umrah. On the date of the alleged second visit, which was on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, the CJN was in Court observing the interview of shortlisted applicants for the award of Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
“A senior official in the CJN chamber intercepted Governor Wike and advised that it is a policy of the CJN not to entertain visits of politicians, especially those with cases in the courts. Consequently, Governor Wike left at that point, even though he tried to state reasons for his visit which included the issue of the appointment of substantive Chief Judge for his state and to thank the CJN for sending the Bayelsa State Chief Judge to swear him into office.
“ In fact, his Lordship was not even aware of the visit until the next morning. The CJN therefore did not see the Governor as reported in the said dailies.
I wish to assure the good people of Rivers State and Nigeria that the CJN and indeed the entire Office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is veritably committed to upholding the integrity, neutrality and independence of our Judiciary. This is a responsibility, which we hold dear and will not shirk.”

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