The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Adoke, (SAN) has said he had directed the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State to swear in Chief Nyeson Ezenwo Wike as governor of Rivers state.
He said his directive became necessary because of the existing vacuum in the office of the Chief Judge of Rivers State.
Wike was declared winner of the Rivers State governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on 11 April 2015.
A statement from the AGF said: “It is… pertinent to draw public attention to 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.
“In order to avert a likely constitutional crisis in Rivers State on 29th May 2015 when the Governor-elect is expected to be sworn in as Governor of Rivers State, 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.”