The publisher of Peoples Gazette, Samuel Ogundipe, has said there were plans for the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to secretly meet with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in London.
Ogundipe made this known on Sunday during an interview with 90MinutesAfrica host, Rudolf Okonkwo.
The Peoples Gazette had published the exclusive story last week, which many considered a huge scandal given the fact that the victory of Mr Tinubu is already being challenged by his opponents at the judiciary – an arm of government headed by Justice Ariwoola.
However, the Supreme Court had denied that report of the planned secret meeting between the CJN and the president-elect in London.
But the Peoples Gazette’s publisher insists that plans were afoot for the unholy meeting between the CJN and Tinubu in London and that the CJN only bolted and ran back to Nigeria when information about the meeting leaked.
“The CJN ran back to Nigeria after finding out that the information about the meeting had been leaked,” the Peoples Gazette publisher disclosed.
Mr. Samuel Ogundipe had charged the Supreme Court to come out clean on the true intent of Justice Kayode Ariwoola’s trip to London rather than sponsoring media propaganda to confuse the public.
“If the CJN went on a medical trip as they claim, which hospital did he visit, or did the doctors see him in a hotel? These are clarifications that they should make to Nigerians,” the publisher said.
Ogundipe also said that the Peoples Gazette requested information from the spokespersons of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Supreme Court of Nigeria about the whereabouts of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mr. OluKayode Ariwoola, two days before the newspaper published its exclusive on the CJN’s London trip to meet with the President–elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We were tipped off by a source in the Supreme Court that the CJN is in London to meet with Bola Tinubu,” Mr. Ogundipe narrated.
According to him, the newspaper reached out to the spokespersons of the Supreme Court and the NJC. While the latter said they were not in a position to comment on the request, the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Festus Akande, outrightly declined a response for two days.
“So we decided to go to press in order to preempt the planned meeting between the CJN and the President-elect because we had no guarantee we would be able to know when or where the meeting would hold specifically or what they would be discussing.”
Justice Ariwoola had recently expressed disturbing political views when he supported the G-5 governors, some of whom worked for Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.
Though the Supreme Court denied that Mr. Ariwoola ever expressed support for the G-5, a video from the event promptly exposed the lies in the Supreme Court’s statement. This faux pas has further strained the credibility of the apex court, and Nigerians have begun to question their capacity to dispense justice dispassionately.