May 29: Adoke Appoints Bayelsa Chief Judge to Swear-in Wike
BEVERLY HILLS, May 19, (THEWILL) – The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, Tuesday said the swearing-in of the Governor – elect of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, would be performed by the Bayelsa State Chief Judge.
This is coming against the existing vacuum in the Office of the Chief Judge of Rivers State, as well as, the Office of the President of the Customary Court of Appeal, Rivers State which has made strict compliance with the requirements of section 185(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, virtually impossible.
A statement issued by the minister said his decision became necessary in order to avert a likely constitutional crisis in Rivers State on May 29 when the Governor-Elect, is expected to be sworn as Governor of Rivers State.
The Minister said: “ I have requested the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to administer the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office on the Governor-Elect of Rivers State in accordance with section 185(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, which provides as follows:
'“The Oath of Allegiance and the oath of Office shall be administered by the Chief Judge of the State or Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the State, if any, or President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the State, if any, or the person for the time being respectively appointed to exercise the functions of any of those offices in any State.”
“The general public particularly the Government and People of Rivers State are hereby invited to take note of this development and appreciate the fact that the invitation extended to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to administer the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office on the Governor-Elect of Rivers State on 29th of May 2015 is in accordance with the Constitution and should therefore be respected by all and sundry.”
Adoke's controversial directive is already generating debates amongst political analysts and lawyers, who are questioning the constitutionality of the directive since the 36 states of the federation are independent federating units with independent arms of government.