The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, has addressed allegations of biased judgement regarding the 2023 general elections. In response to concerns raised by supporters of sacked leaders, the CJN emphasized the importance of upholding the law and not being swayed by public sentiment.
During the last general elections, the election tribunals and the Appeal Court nullified the elections of certain public office holders. This led to the removal of governors, senators, and House of Representatives members based on petitions from opposition parties. Some individuals accused the judiciary of being influenced by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking at the opening of the special session of the 2023/2024 legal year and the swearing-in of 58 newly conferred Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Ariwoola urged judges to remain impartial and not be swayed by public opinion. He emphasized that sentiment should not be mistaken for the law.
The CJN reminded judges that public opinions, sentiments, or emotions should never replace the law when making decisions. Regardless of whose interests are involved, the law should always prevail. As interpreters of the law, judges should separate emotions from logic and base their decisions on facts rather than being influenced by the actions or loud voices of the crowd.