The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a civil rights advocacy group, has appealed to Chief Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to reconsider his approach towards public opinion.
The rights group warned that uncontrolled and widespread corruption within the judiciary if not promptly addressed, could potentially undermine democracy by provoking a revolution.
The National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, "We in HURIWA have the greatest place of honour and veneration for the Nigerian judiciary as the bastion of hope and temple of justice for the people.
"We respectfully wish to appeal to His Excellency, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, to moderate his public position on the essence of public opinion and to separate jaundiced and politically sugar-coated emotive comments from rational opinions of the well-meaning members of the public.
“We beg to disagree with the honourable, the CJN on his position about public opinion and for the hasty conclusion that the members of the public are mobsters. The danger is that if the people lose faith, trust and confidence in the judiciary, they will resort to self-help which may lead to destabilisation of constitutional democracy."
Additionally, HURIWA has requested the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to address the purported suggestions regarding the All Progressives Congress's ability to sway the rulings on election-related cases in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The suggestions were reportedly made by Yusuf Gagdi, a member representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko stressed that democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people and therefore faulted the Chief Justice of Nigeria for generalizing and by hastily ascribing the opinions of Nigerians as those of mobsters.
“Whereas we applaud the CJN for persuasively urging Judges to follow the laws in deciding cases before them, however, we think it is an incurable and defective red herring to dismiss public opinion and concerns of patriots on perceived pervasive corruption within the Judiciary as those of a mob.
"It is offensive to natural law and morality for the CJN to convey an impression that he pretends to say that Judges live on extraterrestrial planets. What should be done is for the CJN to encourage seamless mechanisms for fast-tracking effective whistleblowing with a view to demonstrating the willingness to instil greater transparency and accountability in the judiciary of Nigeria.”