The South-South Governors Forum has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen not to honour the summons from the Code of Conduct Bureau to appear before the Code of Conduct tribunal for alleged non-declaration of assets.
The governors made the call after an emergency meeting in Abuja on Sunday following the staggering charges against the CJN.
“We call on the CJN to ignore this so-called Court summon from the CCB and the provocative call for his resignation in some quarters,” the governors said in a communique issued after the meeting.
“While we are not opposed to a genuine fight against corruption, and such action must always be anchored on the rule of law.”
The meeting was attended by the governors of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers with Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress absent.
Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, who is the Chairman of the forum had summoned the emergency meeting on Saturday after the CCT announced that the CCB had filed six charges against the CJN with the trial scheduled to start on Monday.
In the communique, which was read by Governor Dickson after the meeting, the governors said the move by the CCB was unacceptable, while also blasting the Muhammadu Buhari administration for its treatment of the South-South.
“We note that the attempt to drag the CJN to the CCT is also a grave and dangerous escalation of the assault on institutions of state on institutions of state including the National Assembly and judiciary,” they said.
“The unceremonious removal of former Acting Director General of the Department of State Service, Mathew Seiyefa and his replacement is still very fresh,” they added.
“We note that that unfortunate action against the CJN further reinforces the perception that the Buhari administration has no regard for the sentiments of Nigerians, in particular, the people of Niger Delta, and the rule of law.”