Popular human rights lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo has threatened legal action against the Chief Judge of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola if he fails to show the justification for the elevation of his younger brother to the position of the Auditor of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Adebayo Ariwoola was recently promoted to the position of the auditor of the NJC, a move which has continued to draw public criticism, with not few Nigerians questioning such appointment.
TheGuardian reports that Chief Omirhobo has asked the CJN to produce the Certified True Copies (CTC) of the instruments, notices and criteria for the promotion of staff to the position of Auditor in NJC and the details of Adebayo’s employment, promotions and duration of service at the NJC.
In a letter to the CJN, Chief Omirhobo has demanded for all the documents/qualification presented by Mr Adebayo to aid his promotion or appointment as Auditor, including the list of all staff that participated in the screening for the position of Auditor of the NJC and all documents submitted by them and the basis/result upon which Mr Adebayo was preferred to the other applicants (if any) by NJC.
The demand letter further stated, “In the event of any delay or refusal to offer the requested information within seven-days from the date of receipt of this request, I shall be compelled to take lawful and necessary steps against your management in accordance with Section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
I undertake to pay the requisite assessed fee in line with Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”
This latest action by the quintessential lawyer marks the first major concerted or significant step by any person, group or organization to call to question the appointment of Mr Adebayo Ariwoola as Auditor of NJC headed by his older brother, the CJN; an appointment which places him in a key position overseeing the internal audit unit of NJC, with enormous or substantial authority to ensure financial integrity and responsibility within the commission. The scope of his duty includes evaluating the commission’s internal controls, scrutinizing accounting processes and ensuring compliance with legal standards.