In a now-deleted tweet, a prominent supporter of Peter Obi, Mr Chude Franklin Nnamdi, has accused the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayoade Ariwoola, of being ‘notorious for corruption’.
He provided no proof of the allegation besides the fact that the CJN is from the same region as the President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whose victory in the February presidential contest is being challenged by Obi’s Labour Party and the PDP.
Chude, in the tweet, said the judiciary cannot be trusted to handle the case fairly by implying that the shared ethnicity of the CJN and the President indicates an allegiance. His frivolous accusation is the latest in the series of attacks staged by Obi’s supporters against the personal integrity of the CJN and the public standing of the judiciary in general.
This comes as the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal prepares to deliver its verdict after weeks of trial in which the plaintiffs, Obi and Atiku, failed to challenge Tinubu’s victory by securing the most number of votes, but instead sought his disqualification based on disputed claims over his academic credentials, forfeiture in the United States, and a most controversial constitutional interpretation of the required 25% vote spread in 2/3rds of state in the country.
Nigerians have called for the arrest of Chude Nnamdi over what is deemed an unwarranted attack on the reputation of the CJN based on nothing but the immutable fact of his ethnicity. Chude, who is not new to controversy, was previously arrested for a similar infraction involving the imputation of negative traits about a private citizen.
Citizens calling for his arrest claim that legal punishment of reckless users of social media will help curb the dangerous spread of inflammatory falsehood, especially as the court is about to deliver a ruling on the petition filed by the opposition.